First of all let us get this right, it’s not pronounced “me-me” or ”may-may”. It’s “mim” yes mim, keep practicing you will get used to it.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way we can talk about what a meme really is. A meme is an activity, concept catchphrase or piece of media which often spreads mimicry via the internet. Often times a meme is a piece of media.
A meme is an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. An internet meme may take the form of a word or phrase, image, hyperlink, gif or video. These behaviours spread from person to person via social networks or blogs. Social media enables these memes to spread faster because of direct peer to peer communication and social sharing.
The word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene as an attempt to explain the spread of social information. The most popular memes that have been around for a while now include, The Kermit meme, Steve Harvey and very recently Jake the Little Ghanian boy.
Memes are used on social media, email, and generally on the internet as a communication tool. They usually convey humor especially when used cleverly.
Memes usually have a unique meaning, usually a portrayal of their origins or acts they have been known for. Sometimes memes are a caricature portrayal of one of their many acts. Memes originate from different parts of the world and sometimes are known globally, other times they are known only among a group of people and thus become a sort of inner joke. Some are self-explanatory while others need a little bit of learning to be understood. Memes are also a form of media slang used among internet users.
Memes like emoticons and smileys are universal and can be understood by anyone especially if the backstory is known.