Meme Life: The Social, Cultural, and Psychological Aspects of Memetic Communication
Memes have been part of computer-assisted communication almost since the development of the first consumer browser (the "WorldWideWeb") in 1990. The Internet's ability to provide a public sphere for people to discuss the issues of the day and other topics of interest means that people can use the language of the Internet to express themselves in ways that would not be feasible in the real world. Those bits of content are native to the Internet that it feels obvious to want to understand why they are so compelling to tens of millions of people that use smartphones, tablets, computers, and other smart devices. This book seeks to explain how memes influence societies and cultures beyond the confines of social networking services. It will begin by reviewing the fundamental definitions that frame discussions about memes in popular culture and academic research. There will be a connection between theoretical concepts about memes and the memetic content itself. Each chapter will be using one theorist's work to dig a little deeper into what makes memes effective modes of engagement between people online.