Feb 232012
 
Authors: Nicolle Fagan

CSU students now have a new way to procrastinate.

And on the time-wasting hub of the Internet, Facebook, two CSU students started a page devoted to sharing humorous pictures and capturing jokes only a Ram could truly appreciate. These images are called memes.

Senior anthropology and history major Drew Matthews and junior construction management major Alex Hendricks created the Colorado State Memes page on Feb. 9, and already the page has more than 2,250 likes. The number is getting larger each day.

Matthews, after seeing the memes trend hit other colleges, wanted to start a page where private CSU jokes and commentary could be shared.

“We also wanted the students to get involved,” Hendricks said. “We didn’t just want it to be a page for us, but really wanted it to be a page where everybody could think of ideas and share them.”
But for those of you who do not already follow Colorado State Memes, it may be unclear just what memes are.

“Memes are ideas, images, or phrases that circulate around society, gaining and losing popularity depending on how much people share them,” said Rosa Martey, a professor in the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication. When people normally think of memes, they think of the silly jokes like “LOLcats” and Chuck Norris jokes, but they “can be any idea people talk about a lot.”
The word memes originates from Richard Dawkin’s 1976 book “The Selfish Gene.”

“He defined the word as an idea that can replicate and evolve, an idea/value/pattern of behavior that can be passed down from individual to individual within a specific culture,” said Jamie Switzer, also a professor in the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication. “Internet memes are specific ideas/phrases/photos/videos/concepts that go viral via information and communication technologies, spreading rapidly, that evolve as people add their own spin or interpretation to the meme.”

If that sounds too complicated, memes are essentially pieces of information that spread like wild fire through social media outputs.

“Overall, I think memes are funny and creative and make people laugh,” Switzer said.
On the Colorado State Memes Facebook page, there is a link to a website that allows people to create memes without charge. Students can then post their creations on the wall for other people to see.

Some of the most popular memes are Success Kid, Philosoraptor, College Freshman, and Where I Live graphics. Each meme features a stereotypical or strange image that can be associated with a clever or funny saying. Memes can range from satirical to trivial depending on the creator’s message.

“I think we like to poke fun at subjects we all have to deal with or events and happenings on campus,” said Matthews on the popularity of memes. “I think people also like to have fun and be creative in expressing their ideas and memes are a fun way to do that.”

Collegian Writer Nicolle Fagan can be reached at news@collegian.com

Like “Colorado State Memes” on Facebook to see memes posted by fellow Rams!
You can create memes at http://www.quickmeme.com/

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