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Memes' "lasting time" criteria

Last posted Jul 15, 2011 at 08:53PM EDT. Added Jul 15, 2011 at 07:30PM EDT
5 conversations with 4 participants

We may have had, at some point in time in the forums, IRC or via emails, several discussions about what defines a meme. We all have our own opinions about it. There are some guidelines though that have been written between us mods and staff members together and they have been updated accordingly through the years.

At another point in time, precisely when we were drawn to discover Facebooks fads and events (flash-in-the-pans, microphenomena), such as the bra status update, we were to reconsider one’s opinion to what makes a meme: Lasting time.

I think many of you think that a phenomenon must live on for at least several days/weeks to become a legitimate meme. I have to say that, by the book, it’s pretty much how it happens on the internet, but how can we figure out an “ideal” lasting time for this?

Do you guys remember Peanut Butter Jelly Time, Mark Gormley, Three Wolf Moon or, more recently, Ice Cream Cone Guy?
Do you even remember why people mean carrots when they talk about waffles?

There are many phenomena that were big for some times before falling into oblivion. Ice Cream Cone Guy lasted 2 or 3 weeks before being forgotten as immediately as it came about. Does that nullify it as a meme?

Last edited Jul 15, 2011 at 07:32PM EDT
Jul 15, 2011 at 07:30PM EDT
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I’d say a meme should last a month. Most of them last a lot longer, though.

Jul 15, 2011 at 07:46PM EDT
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Why a month?
What about Interior Semiotics then? It’s a tricky theme here but the entry got confirmed because of what it was and what it led to, but it didn’t last THAT long either.
Again, what about the Facebook fads centred upon colors (underwear, pants, realtionship status)?

Jul 15, 2011 at 08:28PM EDT
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I think that the time that something lasts doesn’t make a difference (that is, unless it is a forced meme, in which case it has to outlive the original force).

All that matters is the impact it makes. Whether it is the only thing talked about for a week or something mentioned often over the course of a month, if it makes a visible impact on a large number of netizens, it is a meme, the time frame that it occurred on doesn’t matter.

Jul 15, 2011 at 08:48PM EDT
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In my opinion, I’ve never felt there is any real “lasting time criteria.”

The Bra status updates was very interesting. It was mysterious, with people not knowing what was going on. It was huge, spreading on the biggest online community in the world. It paved the way for other similar breast cancer fads. It didn’t last long sure, but there was a lot of discussion about it, and was notable for the reactions it got. Peanut butter Jelly time is still recognizable everywhere. To me, its like the zenith of crappy flash animations when they were at their biggest (Badger Badger, Bananaphone). The other ones are trickier though because while popular, its hard to say “everyone recognizes it.” I think Three Wolf Moon is pretty notable (got attention in the press, sparked similar ideas on Craigslist and other Amazon products).

I can’t vouch so much for Mark Gormley or Ice Cream Cone Guy. But there is still a significant population who remembers when they were really big, and I don’t really think that its nullified for its short lifespan.

People still remember Isaiah Mustafa, even if it was short-lived.
But It’s hard to say a large amount of people remember a small YouTube Poop fad, and that is partially because it was short-lived.

So I’ve never felt there was any lifespan criteria, but it can contribute to how notable the meme is, in my opinion.

Edit: Basically I totally agree with PimpAbra, disregard this post :|

Last edited Jul 15, 2011 at 08:59PM EDT
Jul 15, 2011 at 08:53PM EDT
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Skeletor-sm

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