Opinion: Memes and what they mean to us

Juliana Moraes-Liu and Noa Braun

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Memes have recently infiltrated social media networks throughout the world. In case you didn’t know, memes are stock photos that reflect frustration, happiness or satisfaction, upon which people can write captions that personalize the picture. But, we bet most of you don’t know the ‘cool’ stuff about memes. Granted, we didn’t know all too much about them until we stumbled upon an informative Wikipedia page, and we’ve gathered a myriad of jaw-droppingly riveting information for you to enjoy. 

Here are seven things you never wanted to know about memes:

1. A field of study named memetics exists.

2. ‘Meme’ is a shortening of the word ‘mimeme,‘ stemming from Ancient Greek and directly translating to “something imitated”

3. There is a social theory dubbed ‘meme theory.’

4. Cheezburger Network created a web series called ‘Know Your Meme: Internet Meme Database.’ There are 62 episodes.

5. There is a plethora of common mispronunciations of the word meme.

6. The internet sensation, “memes”, shares its name with a Romanian Football Club Manager.

There is a meme conspiracy theory. Yeah, you read that correctly.

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‘Cool’ facts aside, high schools all over the nation now have their own meme pages on multiple social media networks, Palo Alto High School included.

Many may interpret creating and viewing memes as a waste of precious study time; however, we are willing to argue that memes have a productive value, as ludicrous as it may sound. They provide a great outlet for students to relieve stress and provide a supportive environment in which students can revel in their shared frustrations. As a recent Verde article noted, laughter is one of the best ways to rejuvenate and relax, an especially important skill that teenagers, especially those at Paly, need to invest in.

Beyond the laughter that ensues from reading memes for hours at a time, one can also find stress relief via the posting of memes.

Memes created by students range from the sharing of common experiences during classes, like when one is confident about having done well on a test and ends up failing it, to the heartache that results from the moment in time when the Student Center is out of chocolate chip cookies.

Furthermore, memes create an increased sense of community throughout the student body by allowing students to share experiences that only those in their school can relate to. In a way, memes are able to bring us together in an age when technology is generally said to keep us apart.

So, next time you find yourself perusing the Internet, we suggest that you take a look at a few memes.

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