The American Meme: Is Going Viral the New American Dream?

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By: Gina D’Amico

Staff Reporter

Imagine saying or doing something funny, then, the next thing you know, you’re all over social media having “memes” created about you?

Merriam-Webester.com defines a “meme” as “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture or an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) or a genre of items that is spread widely online especially through social media.”

Junior Samantha Trott explains how she likes finding memes to share with her friends.

“I think memes are hilarious and I am constantly sending them or tagging people in them,” said Trott.

“I love when people do that back to me,” said Trott. “But typically, before I go to bed, I’ll scroll through the discover page of my Instagram and I see them there.”

After yodeling in Walmart, 11-year-old Mason Ramsey became famous within days. Social media caused Ramsey’s yodeling video to go viral. People began sharing the video, commenting on it, and making memes out of it.

Many of the famous and funny memes people see, hear or send around, such as the “Catch Me Outside Girl” or Kermit the Frog sipping the tea, have skyrocketed people to fame by becoming internet meme sensations.

Sophomore Sean Burke explains how technology and social media play a large role in adding to the popularity of memes.

“I’m a big fan of memes because of how they impact social media,” said Burke. “I think it’s awesome how far technology has come and some of the benefits that came along with it.”

“I love Twitter because of how quickly and often a meme can go viral and how much they explode in terms of popularity,” said Burke. “The second someone makes a meme that people think is funny, it spreads like wildfire and hundreds and thousands of other people start making their own individual critiques to the meme, and it just makes it exponentially funnier.”

With the potential for stardom and monetization that comes with being an internet sensation/meme, some people think that this can be considered the new “American Dream.”

Sophomore Erica Condon is not only a big fan of memes, but she believes that they may be one of the new “American Dreams.”

“My friends and I are constantly sending each other memes and referencing them in our everyday conversations, we even remake our own versions of them,” said Condon. “Although considering a meme to be an American Dream may sound silly, I think it could be true in our generation. With the rise of social media and the fast-moving technological world, a viral meme could be the start of a huge career.”

Although some students may think this is the new “American Dream,” sophomore Bobby Garbuio thinks that the American Dream means more than just becoming a meme star.

“I personally love memes because they are very entertaining,” said Garbuio. “However, I would not consider them to be the new “American Dream” because, in my opinion, the “American Dream” is a story of overcoming odds and perseverance by making something out of nothing.”

“With memes, there is usually no work involved however someone just capturing something on a camera that they think is funny or entertaining,” said Garbuio. “Usually people who are famous for memes are in the spotlight for a few minutes and then we forgot about it.”

However, junior Caroline King thinks that memes make social media overall better.

“I think people make conversations over them occasionally, especially over social media,” said King. “Memes are super fun and I love them. They make me laugh so much and I love when my friends tag me in them. I think they make social media better.”

 

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