WHAT ARE MEMES AND WHY STUDYING THEM IS IMPORTANT FOR MASS COMMUNICATION: STEREOTYPICAL TENDENCES
Memes are a worldwide social phenomenon, the term “meme” was presented by Richard Dawkins, a biologist (1). He believed that cultural ideas are like genes and our concepts as a society spread from brain to brain, multiplying and mutating as they went. Emerging Internet has become a powerful generator and propagator of memes and the term has evolved within many online collectives, and is shifting in public discourse. In this emerging sense, ‘memes' are amateur media artifacts, extensively remixed and recirculated by different participants on social media networks. Indeed, the very process of propagating memes, sharing them on social media platforms, and tagging friends under specific meme pages has enhanced communication across the world, and has contributed to the success of globalisation. While social media is a platform for communication, memes are a way of expressing different culturally-relevant ideas. Communication is a dynamic process that modified times to times so we should look at memes from a communication-oriented perspective. While a lot of people think of memes as harmless entertainment - funny, snarky comments on current events - we're far beyond that now. Meme wars are a consistent feature of our politics, and they're not just being used by internet trolls or some bored kids in the basement, but by governments, political candidates, and activists across the globe. Both sides in territorial conflicts like those between Hong Kong and China, Gaza and Israel, and India and Pakistan are using memes and viral propaganda to sway both local and international sentiment. Hence mass communication has a very effective role in this context.