The Politics of Memes
A Hilarious Agenda
Are memes political? That seems to be the question many people seem to be asking about the ever increasing trend of politics online. In short, are memes political?
Well, it’s a great question, but the answer is not so simple. If you read some blogs, you will find out that these questions have also been posed by many other individuals who had not even heard of the term memes, a little-known abbreviation for multi-media/internet, thus, they would just label such an activity as “mumblings” instead of declaring it as “political.”
However, the fact of the matter is that they are, in fact, politically charged. A meme, for example, is a long tail word that was basically applied to internet events, especially those related to the internet and digital technology.
Many people do not know much about etymology. If you know about etymology, then you will know that etymology was used by linguists to gain a deeper understanding of how words or names were created. Basically, etymology can help us understand how people or languages form words and how these names and words evolve over time.
Memes, as we all know, were popularized on the popular social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. These memes had to do with one particular topic – technology. So, these were also included in the realm of etymology.
The reason why etymology was utilized here is that the word “emoticons” is derived from the Greek word “euomi”, which means “to smile.” Meaning, what is so funny about an emoticon, you ask?
A meme, simply put, is a picture that is meant to be repeated and as a result of this, people usually post it across various networks, also called websites. The word “meme” is basically a word with two meanings: literally, it is a kind of visual joke and figuratively, it is something which breaks out of its own set of rules and customs. Once this happens, the idea of what it originally meant, what is funny about this, is lost, thus, what is really funny, or at least should be funny, comes out.
Now, given this concept, you can easily understand that many of the things that people do online might be considered as being of interest to some groups. Some things that should be listed here are political opinions and political parties. Thus, it is possible that people might start to compare this phenomenon to how memes emerged into existence.
If you’re wondering how something that is considered to be a form of “political activity” can be considered something that is not, then you must understand that some people believe that politics, as a whole, are not the same thing as etymology. Therefore, it would not be wrong to call the Internet the next battleground in the war of ideas and politics.
We already know that the future of the Internet is global, as it would include computer-mediated communication and education. So, it would only make sense that this would eventually happen with other media platforms as well.
It may not sound very persuasive at first, but I believe it is very important to listen to the things that other people say. After all, what matters is that we learn from other peoples’ mistakes. In short, just because we may not agree with other people doesn’t mean that our beliefs can’t be relevant to theirs.
Can Memes Influence Politics?
Memes, in their most basic form, are visual representations of a particular idea. The idea that is put forward for its development is often not even completely original. Its origins, if any, come from other media and thus are not considered as true memes.
Nevertheless, it is known that memes have been around for quite some time, especially in the minds of people that are common knowledge. In fact, they have been around for as long as human beings have been around. The next question is why they are so popular, and can they be used to get political advantage.
- Memes have been around for a while; their popularity has been quite well documented, from both inside and outside the internet.
- They may have their roots in ancient civilizations, when copying stories was much easier.
- Since that time, the internet has begun to allow people to share and update their knowledge of new and existing information.
- Through the use of the internet, they have quickly become an integral part of political campaigns.
As the internet became more popular, the ability to spread ideas and information over wide numbers of people’s minds began to be exploited. How does this relate to the meme concept? It is quite simple, if you can quickly design a set of drawings and transfer them to a specific medium, you have access to a vast number of people, the potential to influence them, and your ideas.
For example, if you can quickly create a meme based on a political campaign, you may have noticed that many other people began using the same image or idea. If the idea is something that is new and useful, people are likely to spread it far and wide, whether you care for it or not.
Of course, a potential downside to using memes is that they give people license to spread misinformation, and this can be a negative aspect as well. While one or two memes may appear to be “good” in their own way, often the new images that come along with them are not what they seem.
Sometimes, they become standard and are used by those involved in a political campaign. However, they do not always take the form of actual designs.
For example, even a simple image can spread virally, and that can have a critical purpose in the campaign of spreading propaganda. If you know that the image is popular, there is a better chance that it will be taken as truth by the masses, even though it is not.
In fact, a political campaign can accomplish this, even if they do not really want to do it, which is an entirely different discussion. They use memes because they do not have to pay for them, which makes them very cheap to acquire, and can be copied quite easily.
The bottom line is that if you can exploit the power of memes, you can help influence the political races of the world. Some of the bigger players in the political world will pay for your services, so watch out!