Which 2023 Viral Meme Are You?


Have you ever tried to explain a meme only to find it's pretty tricky? The Merriam-Webster definition is: "An amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) that is spread widely online through social media." Some memes like "Distracted Boyfriend" have longevity, while others like the "Will Smith slap" or Usher's "Watch This" meme reflect a trendy moment in the cultural zeitgeist. Memes can be used as inside jokes, and they often employ an intertextuality that requires knowledge of other pop culture references. When things are popular on the internet and catch on, racking up views, listens, or tailored uses, they've officially gone viral. 2023 had its fair share of viral memes, from Chinese spy balloon jokes to Barbenheimer memes riffing off two of the biggest blockbusters of the year, which brings us to today's big question. Which 2023 viral meme are you the living embodiment of?

History lesson

The "Friday" phenomenon: Rebecca Black's viral sensation

A decade ago, the world was buzzing with the name of a 13-year-old girl, Rebecca Black, who became an overnight sensation with her song "Friday." This calendar-themed tune, produced by the now-defunct ARK Music Factory, was met with widespread mockery for its simplistic lyrics and heavy auto-tune. Black's mother had paid $4,000 for the song's production, which featured mundane lyrics about cereal, choosing seats in a car, and the repetitive chorus of "fun, fun, fun." Despite the ridicule, Black maintained a cheerful demeanor despite harsh criticism on talk shows and online platforms.

Fast forward to the present, Rebecca Black, now 23, has re-emerged with a new image. Her latest project, "Rebecca Black Was Here," showcases a more mature and adventurous pop style, blending the sweetness of her teenage persona with a punkish, even gruesome twist. This transformation is not just in her music but also in her personal life, as she embraces her identity as a queer artist. Her journey from a mocked teenager to a respected artist in the Gen Z community is a testament to her resilience and adaptability.

Rebecca Black's story is not just about a viral hit; it's a narrative of growth, self-acceptance, and reinvention. From the infamous "Friday" to her current artistic endeavors, Black has navigated the complexities of fame and criticism, emerging as a symbol of perseverance and evolution in the music industry. Her ability to turn a once-maligned song into a stepping stone for a successful career is a remarkable example of turning adversity into opportunity.

Did you know?

What is the history of the meme?

Richard Dawkins coined the word meme, a neologism that he defined as a "unit of cultural transmission" in his book "The Selfish Gene (1976)". Meme sounds like gene, something else that can mutate and replicate. Dawkins might not have had silly captioned photos in mind when he brought memes into the world, but that is exactly what the average person thinks of these days. Memes didn't start with the World Wide Web. Linguists suggest humans have used memes to communicate for hundreds of years. Every time you repeat a jingle or tell an inside joke, that's self-replicating information, AKA a meme. The word "même" is French for "same." Internet memes are a little different from the memes that came before in that they're posted for public commentary. Early 90s memes include the "Dancing Baby" and LOLcats, which were some of the original meme trends that took off in the mid-2000s. Now, we're entering an era where original memes can be sold as NFTs for millions of dollars.

How to Play?

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