Human communication has taken on a whole new flavor of creativity as technology continues to increase and expand. Particularly in the realms of social media and texting, people rely on more than just the written word to express themselves. We now have emoticon, emojis, Bitmoji, filters, and more to add a visual component to our words. For my generation (Gen Z), videos, GIFs and memes are part of our native language. As such, it's a good idea for parents to stay up-to-date on the meaning of GIFs and memes popular among teens.
As with learning anything new, setting some definitions aids understanding. Let's look at a few important terms:
GIF - named after a certain image file type, GIFs (pronounced like the popular peanut butter brand) are basically five second videos that play on a loop
Image Macro - a broad term that really just refers to a captioned image, but is most recognizable as a picture with text on the top and bottom
Meme - Dictionary.com defines a meme as "a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users."
Dank meme - a subcategory of memes (different than image macros), "dank" is often ironic and synonymous with "cool"
Trying to keep up with which memes are trending is a challenge because the lifespan of a meme is fleeting, but there are resources available to help you out. The following are examples of popular memes that may have run their course as being "viral" but could now be considered classics. These descriptions come from www.knowyourmeme.com, a website that keeps a sort of dictionary of memes with many examples of each, with variations.
In 2008, an Urban Dictionary user described yeet simply as an exclamation or way to express excitement. Then in 2014, a dance of the same name popped up on Vine (a video hosting service acquired by Twitter) and YouTube, further spreading the term.
It didn’t truly go viral until a Vine featuring a boy nicknamed "Lil Meatball" doing the aforementioned dance blew up. Lil Meatball’s Vine inspired several other memes, and allowed yeet to evolve into a phenomenon of its own. Another pivotal use of yeet occurred in a Vine of a girl “yeeting” a soda can into a busy school hallway while exclaiming that the can was empty. Because of that video, most people understand yeet to mean “[the expression of] a sudden or forceful motion, such as throwing an object long distance” or at a high velocity.
In addition to that, yeet can also be used as a noun or in other obscure ways. You just kinda need to feel the yeet in your heart sometimes. The good news is that you can’t really go wrong here; that’s the true spirit of yeet.
Screenshot of Lil' Meatball's Vine
Examples of yeet from Twitter
Examples of photo yeet memes
The Nobody: meme originated on Twitter. The point of the Tweets is to mock people who strive to attract attention and tend to provide unprovoked opinions. It’s also known as the Literally No One: and No One: meme.
Woman Yelling at Cat
This meme is combination of two images: the left side is a screenshot from the reality TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in which actress Taylor Armstrong’s character is crying during an argument while being restrained by another character. The right side is a picture posted on Tumblr in mid-June of 2018 with the caption “he no like vegetals.”
On May 1st, 2019, the first post of the pictures together was made. The next day, memes using the template began popping up. The next month, variations expanded to include label memes. Label memes are just images with labels added to create a humorous twist on the actual picture.
woman yelling at cat
basic label meme