"A picture is worth a thousand words.” This is especially true in today’s life where memes occupy a large portion of what young people see on social media.
According to an ariticle by GQ, “Professor Richard Dawkins coined the term ‘meme’ in 1976 to describe an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”
Especially with the rise of social media such as Instagram, memes are extremely accessible to anyone. Also, anyone can create a meme and share it globally as long as they have a smartphone.
Memes are usually images with a short caption that satirically convey a message in a quick way. They are usually funny and sometimes silly. The content of memes covers a wide range of topics from politics, sports, to the simple things in everyday life. Many students also create a “meme page” for their school to express their opinion about recent school events and changes.
Every morning at Eastern Christian, you can see groups of students huddle in a circle sharing memes to each other and laughing together. Memes have created a bond among students who share the same sense of humor and values. In addition, EC also has a school meme account.
Two years ago, two now graduated EC students, Tyler Onove and Marco De La Cruz, who liked memes and making people laugh, created the @memesternchristian meme page on Instagram. On the page, they published memes about what was currently going on in school. With their unique sense of humor, this page soon got a decent number of followers of EC students, as well as some EC staff members.
“Memesternchristian brought light to certain events going on in school and allowed students to give our opinions in a light-hearted way such as the bomb threat,” explained junior Aidan Sehulster, who referred to an incident from the past year involving a student’s gym bag.
In the beginning of this school year, @memesternchristian also launched competition with some EC students competing for the best EC memer. Contestants in the competitions included Annika Westra, Aidan Sehulster, Christiana Hubbard, David deVries, Grace Kellogg, Katie Kuiken, Josh Steen, and more. Part of the competition include making a meme on topics such as Campaign 125 and Hall Passes. Then, EC students had a chance to vote for the best meme to determine the winner. In the end, sophomore Josh Steen won the competition and became the best memer of EC.
Now people may wonder, what makes memes so popular and what is the purpose of memes? “Memes is like a joke that I share with friends that have the same sense of humor as me. It’s like a conversation starter,” explained Aidan, “It’s a new way to share ideas and it covers a variety of topics.”
Memes also cover a huge range of political topics. On one hand, memes made it easier to talk about loaded and controversial topics since they are funny and effectively convey a message. However, in junior Christiana Hubbard’s opinion, “It makes both the subject and the communication of the subject very shallow and one-dimensional. It usually doesn’t leave room for outside perspectives to be considered. On the bright side, it’s hilarious.”
So is Josh Steen now officially the best memer in EC? Aidan offered a different perspective, “I think the meme competition isn’t very fair because there were so many very funny memes that should have won but people didn’t vote for. Personally, I think Grace Kellogg is the best. She is such an icon. Everything she does resembles memes.”