An Internet user creates a meme to express his excitement by using a photo of an 11-month-old with a determined face and clinched fist and surrounds it with a statement saying his girlfriend finally gave an answer of where to eat.
Sammy, better known as the “Success Kid,” is one of many photos that have now become part of the meme trend.
The “Success Kid” is used in jokes to express success and achievement, such as a favorite song ending right when a driver reaches his or her destination.
Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines memes as carrying ideas, symbols, ideologies and practices, and spreading them throughout a culture,
“That is exactly what it is,” Roberto Suarez, a freshman movement and sports science major, said.
From scumbags to penguins, original photos are edited and partnered with funny captions, making them enjoyable for anyone who loves a quick joke.
People can relate to the humor, Suarez said.
Memes are big on college campuses, and they are growing among various Internet communities.
Whether for fun or to express an opinion, creativity has given photos a new meaning and made an instant hit in online culture.
Other memes such as “Socially Awkward Penguin” and “Scumbag Steve” are among the most popular memes created on the Internet.
Suarez said that while these memes are fun and help people connect, this medium can also be serious.
“There is a meme for every mood or character,” Suarez said.
One example is when “Socially Awkward Penguin,” is shown waddling surrounded by the caption “Tries to Tip Girl; Knocks over Tip Jar Creating Chaos and Despair.”
The meme’s purpose is to express the awkward moments in life that everyone experiences.
Samantha Reed, a freshman psychology major, said she enjoys looking at these memes for one reason: they are hilarious.
“They are really interesting,” Reed said. “Anything you can make fun of is a meme.”
Celebrities, cartoons, even television shows such as “Futurama” are being used as parodies for memes.
One smile from Willy Wonka gives a frequent meme creator numerous ideas for hilarious captions.
“It is funny and brings popular culture to life,” said Cristobal Gutierrez, a sophomore psychology major. “Memes take jokes you can ruin for the sake of comedy.”
Gutierrez also enjoys the “Rage Comic” memes, which are a series of emotional faces that expresses rage, awkwardness or sometimes joy.
Add a caption that shouts vulgarity with a rage-filled face and viewers cannot help but laugh until tears come from their eyes.
With memes’ increasing popularity, the University of La Verne now has a Facebook page that allows students to share memes that are related to ULV, from Davenport services to housing issues.
One meme shows Philosoraptor, which is a picture of a contemplative velociraptor. The dinosaur is pondering The Rock and the caption reads: “Perhaps it is just a pebble painted too many times.”
Suarez said the page may not be popular now, but these memes will be a norm in the future.
“It is like they jumped on this because it is a bandwagon, but this grassroots movement will catch up,” Suarez said.
However, some students have other, more negative opinions of the ULV Meme Facebook Page.
Gutierrez said it does not capture the true message of the movement: To let opinions be expressed based upon any subject, rather than confined to a specific niche.
“They think it is just a past-time activity,” Gutierrez said.
While memes may not be popular outside of the Internet, they have cemented themselves as an integral part of online culture.
The University of La Verne meme page can be found at www.facebook.com/ulvmeme.
For more in memes in general, visit www.quickmeme.com.
Alex Forbess can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.