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Online trends often find ways into daily lives, social circles


meme-illustration
(Chelsea Kleven/Lead Designer)

From "Rickrolling" to enjoying the wisdom of "Advice Dog" and "Philosoraptor," Christopher Zamplas said he enjoys the viral world of Internet memes.

The Novi junior said some of his favorites include "Star Wars Kid" and "Rage Comics."

“An Internet meme is any kind of idea or object repeatedly referenced in a humorous way,” Zamplas explained, "like a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person."

Memes can encompass a variety of media, he said, including images and videos, such as the recently popular music video “Friday” by Rebecca Black, 13, who sings about the events of her favorite day of the week.

“My girl Rebecca, her song changed my life,” said Grosse Ile junior Melissa Francetich. “She made me believe that people with no talent can make millions.”

Francetich said Black’s song inspired her to plan the future release of her own questionably melodic masterpiece.

“I’m actually releasing a song this week about shapes, hoping I’ll make it big like her. I want to teach people about triangles, circles, squares, rhombuses, you know — it’s going to be revolutionary,” Francetich said. “The Internet just gives all of us with no talent another reason to dream.”

She said viral videos such as “Friday” are quoted frequently in her social circle and often make an appearance on Facebook.

Zamplas had a similar experience with memes finding their way into Facebook status updates.

“It’s a humorous way to point out and help people remember the things they just saw," Zamplas said. "I don’t even know why we do it; it doesn’t make sense, but it’s funny — it’s a good, quick laugh.”

Lexington senior Aaron DeLaRosa said the memes seem to become popular overnight.

“One person will randomly see one and show their friends, then it spreads like wildfire because everyone wants to show each other,” he said. “They make a bunch of people laugh.”

He said TV shows such as “Tosh.0” help boost the popularity of some memes.

Zamplas attributed websites, such as www.knowyourmeme.com, to the popularity of online fads. However, he said, Internet trends can quickly become overused.

“I think they get worn out and then they stop being distributed for a little while,” Zamplas said. “But new generations get introduced to memes and they resurface — I don’t think they ever lose their stature.”

Citing a popular video in which a teenager pile drives another student after being punched repeatedly by him, DeLaRosa said it is nice to see some memes provide more than just laughs.

“I’d like to hope people get inspired that are getting bullied all the time,” he said. “It sucks, because bullying is a big issue now. People kill people or kill themselves, and it causes a lot of emotional distress. It’s good that he stood up for himself, it kind of set up a positive image.”

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