An unseen meme ?

While it may not be obvious, posting on a message board is meme. In general when people think of memes, they would reference bachelor frog, tebowing, or planking. Those are social behaviors that have, at least temporarily, become ingrained in our culture due to imitation, which is by the way the definition of meme in Webster’s dictionary. Based off that definition posting on a message board is definitely a meme.

A typical internet meme… one that i relate to too frequently for my own good

The amount of people who post on blogs and message boards has increased exponentially during the last few years. The accessibility of internet has certainly helped in this regard, but I would be willing to bet the increase in posters is a lot greater than the increase in internet users. And yes, the internet is becoming an increasingly larger part of most people’s lives. However, I think the primary cause of the increase in posters is imitation.

The attention that some posts garner and the praise of board members that some posts receive can turn a board reader into a poster. Writing on a message board has become a meme because people see others respond and argue to posts and think that their posts and ideas will also generate discussion. We share our ideas on message boards because we have already seen it work for others.

Some message boards influence action outside of just posting and reading. I have seen boards who organize fans to go and sit in the same sections for concerts or sports events.  People can spend hours a day reading message boards about their favorite sports team. And because of this I would say that this memes differential fitness is quite high. Chances are that no matter what team you follow or what weird hobby you have, there will be a message board that suits your needs. Message boards are what people post on them, having that kind of variability means that this meme will continue to be part of our culture for a very long time.

When looking at the reading on memetics, I was surprised when Blackmore stated that it was our ability to easily imitate that set us apart from other animals (pg3). What good is imitation if we imitate the wrong things? I cringe at the idea of propagating a meme like YOLO or planking all the way into the next generation. I think that it is our ability to imitate and then decide which imitations to keep is what separates us from the pack.

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Aside | This entry was posted in Blog #3. Memes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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