Memes, The Communication Accelerator

In our battle against time, our daily activities becoming faster and faster, our communication and the way we pass our messages has drastically changed. This in part can be due to the fast development and integration of social media platforms in our daily lifestyle to the point where our daily acts mostly revolve around these networks and our constant need to stay connected.

In this rise of the fast, of the straightforward and of the "instant gratification", our visual sense "developed" to include what we now call as memes. These, have risen to become such a popular way of impersonal communication.

Memes are visuals that can be text-based but the majority include a main image. While the format isn't entirely rigid, a large majority of memes will play to this common structure - enhancing familiarity, and reducing the need to supply context to the image. Memes serve as a great way to tell a simple story, with the image providing quick context - and the text structured as a classic joke, with set-up above and punchline beneath.

What makes memes interesting to study is their own in-built context. It has come to be processed on an almost sub-conscious level, and is capable of transcending language barriers. This instant gratification, without the need for investment, is part of what makes memes so easily digestible - reading even a short joke in a text format requires far more effort than simply glancing at a picture.

Sites such as 9gag & Reddit made it possible for memes to be shared and spread virally with simplicity and ease. This also helped a lot in making memes popular and the more it is shared, the more successful it is. In addition to that, the massive growth in "meme culture" reflects the information overload we are living through.

It's a shame, for those of us who prefer solid, worthy content - but it's just evidence of a shift in communication in the internet age. Memes are the equivalent of idle chatter - they're not supposed to be deep, or meaningful - but a simple way to express ideas and tell short stories.

If we are to project the current state into the near future, we will definitely be seeing fast and easy content lasting for quite some time!