Referring back to my series, Memes: Their Messages & Variations, it is up and going for almost 2 weeks now. The first episode focuses on Krusty Krab vs Chum Bucket memes and the second focuses on Gru memes.
Here’s the dilemma I’m having right now, the meme world isn’t all that pretty. Its filled with racial slur and other offensive humor. Personally, I know the difference between a hate speech and a meme. Both are 2 different things and memes are harmless. But to understand its “dankness”, I must study memes that are “dank” which are offensive to certain audience. Should I keep the content neat and clean or dank? I don’t want readers to think that I’m an as*h**e. For the record, I am against hate speech or any other racial slurs. Liking offensive humor, doesn’t mean I tolerate hate speech.
Now lets get into the serious part, meme life cycle. From my 3 weeks observation, I can confirm that a particular meme dies when its overused. Heres a similar theory by a reddit user that I found on this topic:
To get a better idea, heres a chart:
A particular meme format is born on reddit. The memeeconomy then decides if its a material worth investing. But the real question is, does it mean that these group of people from reddit determines the fate of the meme?
To fully understand the topic, one must look at it at a different perspective. Being said, the Sub-reddit group has more than thousands of people with different background to further analyze a meme format. There is no right or wrong, meme with the most “upvote” means its been viewed and liked by different people (or the same) with the same passion. Hence, it is the right one to invest.
This theory is similar to James Surowiecki ‘s theory on the aggregation of information in groups where he argues that decisions made by a group of individuals will most probably be better than the ones made by a single member.
From my observation, meme formats are “danker” in platforms like Reddit and 4Chan. Once it reach a certain amount of popularity, it started to spread to the semi mainstream audience via Twitter and Instagram where it will lose some of its “dankness”. Twitter and Instagram are both semi mainstream platforms, posting offensive memes is against their term of use. Same goes with Facebook except Facebook has a lot of users that are 30 and above which are not the main or suitable audience.
The article above is a great piece on why millennials prefer the dark, meaningless memes. These dark humors has become a form of frustration towards the world. Its becoming a world’s internet culture for millennials.
Quote: “Memes forms a backdrop of life”
9GAG is the last line of defense before the meme dies. 9GAG is an HQ for normies. At this point, the meme format is uncontrollable by the community as it already falls into the hand of the normies. Unlike the Reddit community, the 9GAG community practice some common decency when making memes which resulted the community to be very tame and senseless. To put it in a different way, the Reddit community is like Homer Simpson. A lovable, funny douchebag while the 9GAG community is the annoyingly nice neighbor Ned Flanders
The next part is to study the aesthetic values in memes. Memes are a form of art. The artist made it from his/her vision and the audience interprets it. It is mentioned in one of my previous post that memes with 0 context are considered good memes. Or is it?
Deep fried memes are somewhat distasteful to certain people. But, it is understandable to think that way because visually, it is unpleasing to watch. Dank memes are supposed to be ironic and anti mainstream. These distortions are its form of identity and the meaningless contexts are its values.
Pictures from: Reddit
Apart from those deep fried memes, some memes holds a quality production value in marketing. As a meme goes “trending” on the internet, advertisers can apply their product/services to a particular meme format as a way to resonate with their audience.
The key to a successful advertisement is to not force it. Forcing a meme to a product will be seen as a desperate attempt on capitalizing their attention.
Thats all for now, I hope to further understand these topics as the project progresses. Stay tune for any updates