History of Memes

A True memoir of the olden days of internet memes

When I say Memes you most likely think of common internet humor mostly viewed and created by the millennials and zoomers. Although in my personal opinion memes have really gone downhill since the long-forgotten days of 2019, I still think we can recover and come out much greater than before. The Word “Meme’ comes way before the invention of the internet coming from Richard Dawkins in his book “The Selfish Gene” back in 1976. He described them as being able to reproduce, evolve, and popularise themselves much like our genes. Though he might seem able to predict the future with suspicious accuracy, I do enjoy the idea of memes magically coming alive today.

The first common internet memes by definition were emoticons. Invented by Scott E. Fahlman in 1982 the emoticon was widely spread and popularized due to its simplicity to make and effectiveness in conveying emotion. Around the mid-1990s the internet memes of the time were just short videos commonly spread around the world. But as the internet grew, so did memes. In 2005, with the invention of youtube came along the common internet trend of rickrolling. Around the late 2000s to early 2010s the common meme formatting of an image with the popular impact text font. An example of a meme from around with time frame is:

a very angry looking cat

In the mid to late 2010s a new type of meme took form. This new genre of memes is the same kind going on today. For example, a common way to make a good meme was to simply “deep-fry” it. to deep-fry, a meme was just to apply a filter and if it is a video, make any audio heavy distorted. Another way to gain internet points was to make a meme with some text completely unrelated at the top with “bottom text” printed at the bottom. These memes used to be rare but were rapidly created and spread through the Covid-19 Pandemic. Some examples of these memes are:


In conclusion, memes are cool and their culture has a great history. But the steady decline of quality has continued throughout the years from the good days of 2018. Lastly, I Hope that anyone reading decides to enjoy memes for their true purpose of being funny.