Internet “Meme” Craze Hits Unis
News editor Henrietta Richards investigates the recent mainstreaming of memes and introduces our competition.
A Facebook page dedicated to posting images captioned with Exeter-related banter has been an instant hit amongst students.
The Drop is running a competition to find the best ‘Exeter meme’.
Although the ‘University of Exeter Memes’ page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/University-of-Exeter-Memes/233008300120978) was only set up this week, it has already received more than 3,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook.
The creators of the page state that their ‘mission’ is simply to ‘get as many likes as possible so that everyone can enjoy Exeter related memes’.
Users are directed to the website http://memegenerator.net/ where they can create their own ‘Exeter memes’ to be posted to the group.
The mainstreaming of memes from imageboard sites such as 4chan originally started in American colleges but soon spread to the U.K. The launch of the Exeter page follows the success of similar sites for many other British universities. Cambridge, Bristol, UCL, Oxford and Durham all have Facebook pages dedicated to the phenomenon with new university ‘meme’ sites being created each day.
The concept of ‘memes’ – simply ideas or behaviours that spread from person to person within a culture – was first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 in his book 'The Selfish Gene' and has since been adopted by marketing departments and most recently, Internet users.
Since the creation of the Exeter page ‘Memes’ seem to have dominated students’ Facebook walls and news feeds. Tom Canty, a second year studying Politics and Economics said "some of the memes are a bit hit and miss, but a lot of them are hilarious. But this page could be the bane of my degree!"
The images make fun of all aspects of Exeter student life – ranging from clubs to degree courses to student fashion… and even the buildings on Campus. members of Exeter University Boat Club have since created their own ‘EUBC meme’ page for rowing-related banter.
Some of the more controversial images posted on the site make reference to the traditional rivalry between Exeter Halls of Residence, with slogans including "can’t tell if it’s Lafrowda or a crack den" and " lives in Holland hall…doesn’t look down on you".
Think you can do better? We want to hear from you! Send in your best ‘meme’ attempt with your name and contact details to [email protected] by Monday 13th February. We’ll give away an Exeter Drop t-shirt to our favourite!