General Psychology Discussion Discussion Prompt 5 – The Language of Memes

General Psychology Discussion Discussion Prompt 5 – The Language of Memes

Discussion Prompt 5 – The Language of Memes Language continuously evolves. Asynchronous communication (any communication, such as texting or liking a Facebook post, which doesn’t require a constant stream of conversation) is becoming more common and technology is advancing, and with these changes people are continuously coming up with new ways of communicating to better suit the times. With the rapid expansion of the Internet and cellphones in the 90s, we also saw a rapid expansion of language. Millennials unknowingly crafted their own language to communicate effectively in this new medium, using skillful abbreviations to shorten words (“laughing out loud” became “lol,” “okay” became “k”) and emoticons to express complex emotions (a simple “;)” says a lot depending on the context). Later on came Internet memes. These involve a picture or series of pictures that are understood as conveying a certain complex situation or feeling. Words are added to these pictures to relate them to something more specific. Memes are their own language – the pictures provide structure, or syntax, to an idea while the words add specific contextual meaning, or semantics. txtspk – lol, h8, 2 u, wtf, omg, w/ [shortening of words to conserve energy and space] emoticons/emojis – 🙂 🙂 , 🙁 🙁 , :’(, <3