Quotation (with page number or parag number or time stamp if video/audio)

“The exact origins of the very first internet meme are somewhat contested. As Lessig (2008) and Jenkins (1992) have argued, participatory culture did not start with the internet.”

Comment (250-500 words)

Memes are a part of everyday life in 2022. We see them and create them every day, yet the first memes I ever saw were in around 2012-2014. I thought that memes began around that time, but this article has proved me wrong. I found it interesting that memes could predate the internet. My generation’s memes mainly come from video quotes such as vines and TikTok. Most memes older adults quote are images, so I figured memes could only spread through social media like internet. By defining memes as “Participatory culture” definitely changes the way I think about memes. Memes could have been inside jokes between groups of people with similar interests. With that definition, memes can’t truly be traced to the origin. In my AP Latin class, we studied roman graffiti, which was usually commissioned by politicians and store owners. They could include jokes that made sense to a specific town or group of merchants. They used these similar to how we use social media, so technically these could be memes. Rome had different senses of humor depending on the town or profession. This is similar to how people have different interests that divide their humor.


Can we truly find the origin of memes?