Evil Kermit, socially awkward penguin, and grumpy cat are the viral fare of tweets, Instagram, and Facebook. But their origins are surprisingly literary. In 1976, before the days of newsfeeds and filters, scientist Richard Dawkins created the term "meme," abbreviated from the Greek "mimeme," referring to something that has been imitated. His book, The Selfish Gene, defined a meme as a "noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission." Dawkins probably didn't imagine that his word would evolve into its current usage. But memes have become an essential part of Internet culture and, if you get the tone and image just right, you could be the next viral star. Here's your ultimate guide to creating your own evil Kermit success story.
Pick Your Favorite Meme Creator There are plenty of meme generating apps, such as Meme Creator/Viewer and Mematic, and websites like MakeAMeme.org and Memeful. Most are similar to one another and offer a gallery of images to choose from. These galleries are usually a mix of animated characters, animals, political figures, and celebrities. Choose A Photo You can upload one of your own photos, or opt for an image that's already in your meme creator's library. The key is finding an expression that conveys a strong emotion, be it laughter, surprise, or disgust. Picking an image from a popular show or movie, either past (Kermit the frog) or present (Game Of Thrones), or from a recent political event, can also help your meme gain traction.
Create A Witty Caption Most meme creators let you write text on the top and bottom of your photo and choose the color. The best memes connect an animal or person's expression to an event in the news or something everyone can relate to, such as the pain of waking up on a Monday morning. Decide what your caption will be, spice it up with sarcasm, and add your text to the photo.
Congratulations, you've made your first meme! Coming up with the perfect combination of clever caption and funny photo isn't easy, so don't be concerned if your early creations don't instantly earn a million retweets. The Internet is always looking for hilarious, shareable content, so if at first you don't go viral, try, try again.