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Why Not Make My Own Meme?

After listening to the guest lecturer Lada, I learnt factors influencing cascades, the behaviors of social networking sites, and most importantly, the spread of memes. Memes, in current society, is “an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation. I.e. a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.” I learnt that memes spread through the behavior that they generate in their hosts. “Memes that propagate less prolifically may become extinct, while others may survive, spread, and mutate. Memes that replicate most effectively enjoy more success.” In this case, we are talking about internet memes, and I went ahead to test it out myself, by creating a meme to spread.

The meme I created targets Chinese people, as I will explain later, the meaning of the meme. I posted it on a currently trending and viral page “Subtle Asian Traits” which, in the past week, has grown from 200,000 users to 550,000 members. It is a platform for Asians to share their relatable memes with one another. Likes on memes range from 10 likes (unsuccessful) to thousands of likes.

I posted this meme above on Oct 31, and this screenshot was taken on Nov. 4. In the picture, we have four squares. The words are “pinyin”/pronunciations of Chinese words that correspond to the picture. In this situation, we have “Beloved”, “Motherly Love”, “Cute/Adorable”, and the final picture stands for “very short”, which relates to many Asians. Thus, the meme become rather successful over time, gaining over 1.5k likes in the first 5 days of it’s existence. In our case, instead of “sharing” a post/meme, we spread the meme through tags.

Overtime, however, things started to die down, and it took another week, until Nov.10, to reach 2k reactions.

Overall, I just found this experience really fun and interesting and wanted to write about it because the lecture was what sparked my curiosity in starting and creating a meme to spread for the first time ever and I was really surprised at the success it had. However, I learnt that memes, as mentioned, spread like a logistic curve, like below, where the spread of memes/tags/notices start of small, then as more people notice it, it becomes viral, and eventually plateaus off as new memes are created and old ones are forgotten.

Image result for logistic function


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