The data doesn’t lie. The novelty of memes that look like memes has worn off.
lol. Chris Menning — you so crazy. Memes didn’t die. Curiosity about the word did.
I remember when a bunch of us were first talking about memes, I would explain a meme to somebody and they’d say, “oh, you mean ‘fads’?”
Interchangeable with ‘fads’ was the phrase ‘that went pop’. These words aren’t in as widespread circulation anymore but their core features remain.
The same goes for the actual language, form, and expression of internet “memes” — they’ve been assimilated into mainstream culture.
TV, movie, and music creators integrate gifs and reaction faces into their fanservice. Leetspeak is in the dictionary. And cultural content around the current presidential election is filled with image macros and 4-panes. Internet memes are everywhere but we don’t need to call them that anymore.
None of this is unprecedented in culture. Just look at music.
“Techno”, as we knew it in the late 80’s-early 90’s is dead. Meanwhile, dubstep and electro house rule the music charts.
Culture grabs onto subcultures, gnaws at them for a while, and eventually spits them out in a different form. The old king dies and his offspring takes his place.
The fact that it’s finally happening with this particular phase of internet culture was long predicted by the likes of me, Huh, moot, waxy, Jamie and Ellie, memefactory, and even Chris Menning himself.
What’ll be interesting is seeing what those subcultures morph into next.
All the things are dead. Long live all the things.