When I don't know something I go straight to Google search.
I asked Google, "What is a meme," and this is what Google said:
- An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
- An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.
Ask.com defines a meme as:
A "virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea. A meme (rhymes with "team") behaves like a flu or a cold virus, traveling from person to person quickly, but transmitting an idea instead of a lifeform. According to Cecil Adams of theStraightDope.com, the concept of memes "is either really deep, or really, really obvious".
The Daily Meme defines memes a little differently.
- An idea that, like a gene, can replicate and evolve.
- A unit of cultural information that represents a basic idea that can be transferred from one individual to another, and subjected to mutation, crossover and adaptation.
- A cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); “memes are the cultural counterpart of genes”.
After reading all this, I would define a meme as a visual representation of a common experience, memory or idea by a generation. This visual representation must be universal and capable of being transmitted online. Does this make sense?
Here are some of my favorite internet memes:
Being Rick Rolled on Youtube:
Numa Numa Dance: