Fame and Memes

Diving into the world of Internet memes, I realize the patterns that are talked about in class and The Social Media Reader are relevant. According to the book, there is a certain language of the graphic, wording, and overall design of the meme. This design is then given critique through sharing, commenting, and spreading the word through the seemingly unending World Wide Web. I choose to bring up the argument of memes not being generated by anonymous individuals, however, but normal people who are able to receive great fame through their spread.

Although anonymity is common in the world of memes, there are individuals who receive publicity through the widespread interest of their popular memes. An example would be the graphic picture of Overly Attached Girlfriend, whose fame skyrocketed from the famous YouTube video and launched her into greater popularity within the memebase world. Not only is the star of the image macro, Laina Morris, even more famous, but the Redditor, yeahhtoast, received fame for their own meme that eventually brought about a new manifestation into the world wide web. Today, it is one of the most popular memes uploaded.


With many memes being given birth at an unfathomable rate, I have the luck of using the memebase encyclopedia website, KnowYourMeme.com, to my disposal. Like everyone else, I can check the origin of practically any meme floating around the Internet. Sure enough, the origin is usually always posted with either a full name of the individual, or a screen name. KnowYourMeme even dedicates a section of any particular meme to the origin, proving the point that some lucky individuals can receive fame through their meme creativity. The more famous memes actually do have originator identification, countering the idea that non-attribution memes are the more popular memes to use, as they are declared anonymous.


Another viral meme that I would like to bring onto the floor would be the notorious Slender Man memes. Although the Slender Man didn’t begin as a meme, the retouched images from online forums evolved over time into notorious Internet memes. Once again, the originator is named; meaning the use of attribution memes can still be viral within the world of memes. This counters the argument The Social Media Reader explains, stating that non-attribution memes become famous for their own anonymity.



Anonymity is stated to have close association with the fame of non-attribution memes because it protects oneself from possible dangers within the realm of readers, as some may find a graphic offensive. As I stand by this idea of remaining anonymous in the meme world, KnowYourMeme doesn’t seem to take notice, as they openly publicize the originator of particular memes. Although I am sure if an originator asks for their name to be removed from the site if threatened, their information is still open until that point in time. People can still receive fame from their memes, as their names get publicized online next to their works of art. I personally think that although it may be unsafe to post such information online (depending how offensive one meme might be to a particular individual); it can also affect someone’s own social lifestyle. As Laina Morris has stated when being interviewed for the NTDaily, “What I’ve done hasn’t changed any relationship I’ve had with people I knew before, but do I see dating people in the future being a problem? Maybe a little bit.”


This entry was posted in memes, Social Media, Student Posts by michaelzisk. Bookmark the permalink.

About michaelzisk

I am a student at the University of North Texas majoring in Radio, Television, & Film with a minor in French. I am a Campus Representative for the Disney College Program at UNT. I have interned with the Walt Disney Company and Creative Minds in Cannes at the Cannes Film Festival. I hope to do something in the editing department of media after graduation in December 2012.

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