Why Memes Are Important

August 15, 2010 |  by

Here’s why:

First, memes pull us into groups. When we’re influenced by a meme, we act like others in the meme. That may be fine sometimes, but probably you’d rather not only be part of a meme. If what you want is to be yourself – the unique person who is you – you’re going to want to recognize memes, and realize when they’re influencing you.

Second, memes are the backbone of social institutions. Anything group has a meme. So if we want to push for progress, or change directions in any sphere of society, it’s critical we understand how memes work. This goes for politics, business, education, our relationships and social interactions – it’s all encompassing.

Without seeing memes, we’re walking in the dark.



  1. so… what is a meme?

  2. A meme (pronounced /ˈmiːm/, rhyming with “cream”[1]) is a unit of cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena. (The etymology of the term relates to the Greek word μιμητισμός ([mɪmetɪsmos]) for “something imitated”.)[2] Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes, in that they self-replicate and respond to selective pressures.[3]

  3. These memes are outrageously funny, and they don t need a lot of time to enjoy. They take a few minutes of your time, and in the case of the lolcats, only a few seconds of your time. But don t start thinking coming up with a meme is easy. Scientists and researchers have tried to study and understand memes. Every detail is taken into account, to know why this meme succeeded and why another meme failed.

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