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Generation meme: Meme culture influences student and staff

Emma Olinger, Editor-in-chief

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Junior Fabiola Cabrera said meme culture is a staple of her generation. She said she first found out about memes when she stumbled upon Nyan Cat, a popular YouTube video posted in April of 2011. Since then, Cabrera said her taste in memes has only evolved.

“It’s like having an inside joke but with the rest of the world, and I think that’s amazing,” Cabrera said. “You can start singing a song from TikTok, and then like, down the hall, someone’s going to join in … It brings people together, it’s unifying people through really dumb things.”

Despite feeling unified through meme culture, Cabrera said she is aware of the apparent divide between generational humor. However, she said it isn’t impossible for different kinds of people to enjoy memes.

“It all depends on your sense of humor, because my sense of humor makes no sense,” Cabrera said. “It can be a picture with a dog with pants on or I don’t know, and I’m like, ‘This literally makes no sense. But I love it.’”

Much like Cabrera, sophomore Karthik Sathish said he began to enjoy memes when he was much younger. However, he said he took his love of memes to the next level by creating a meme account.

“Back in the fourth and fifth grade days, [my friends and I] would just grind out and get followers by following people that followed big accounts, and we went on mass unfollowing sprees to gain followers,” Sathish said. “Six months ago, we found the account and we were like, ‘We should do something with this.’ I had 5,000 followers or something like that. Then, we just decided to post memes on it.”

Not only does Sathish run a meme account, but he said he also finds memes used in the classroom.

“I think [memes] are important because, even in Spanish class, we look at memes because they help us get a better understanding of things,” Sathish said. “I feel like they’re important to not only get a good laugh, but also to see what’s in the news these days.”

Spanish teacher Alejandra Alana said she uses memes in the classroom to engage students like Sathish. She said she had thought about using memes in the classroom, however, a blog post online showed her how to use them.

“I found that the best way, for me at least, that I’ve been using [memes] lately and the way I incorporate into my classroom is as a warm up,” Alana said. “I usually start class with a meme like the meme of the day.”

Alana said the most difficult thing when using memes in the classroom is finding memes that have relevance to what they are learning. She said if the class is studying a specific subject, she would find a meme relating to said subject. However, if there are no usable memes relating to their topic, Alana said she finds memes that contain the grammar the class is currently studying.

“I’ve actually had some students volunteer and say, ‘Hey, I want to make one, I want to  make a meme for you,’” Alana said. “I’ve shown them in class, so I think they like it.”

With memes taking over social media and showing up in the classroom, Cabrera said meme culture has the potential to stick around for a very long time.

“I don’t think they’re ever going to die,” Cabrera said. “Meme accounts would be in the past, but do you remember Rage Comics? Those were the original meme pages … you go to Reddit, you go to cheezburger.com and you’re like, “[This is] the my daily dose of stupid comics,’ … What we have now is just an evolved version of that, and it’s just going to continue doing that. I don’t think [memes] are ever going to die. [They’re] too good.”

According to knowyourmeme.com, Rage Comics showed up for the first time on Reddit in 2008, arguably creating a meme culture that could reach the masses through a shareable subreddit where people could post their own original comics.

With Rage Comics being a thing of the past, one might wonder how funny things like the Instagram Egg or Big Chungus will be in the future.

“I always wonder if I’m going to be like 60 years old and I’m looking at a picture of like Sonic’s feet, and if I’m going to laugh at it,” Cabrera said. “I’m going to be like, ‘This is so funny.’ I always wonder, maybe my grandchildren will just [have] a completely different kind of humor. They’re gonna be like, ‘Grandma, what the heck is wrong with you?’ And I’m like, ‘This is what was funny back in the day.’”

Cabrera said the uncertainty of memes is one of the best aspects of them. She said it is uncertain what will make her laugh next week, let alone in 60 years. However, Alana said as long as people continue to be clever, memes have a chance of making a lasting impression.

“I think I have a true appreciation for people being clever,” Alana said. “I like the amount of creativity that goes into these things. When I’ve tried to create some, I’ve kind of struggled. I enjoy them [more] rather than creating them and I truly admire the way people can just come up with so many different things and I think you have to be kind of clever and witty to come up with a good meme.”

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Emma Olinger, Online Editor

This is Olinger's second year on the Standard. She has absolutely loved being apart of the newspaper and has been since august, 2016. She won second place...

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Generation meme: Meme culture influences student and staff