Listicles, Listicles Everywhere!

Listicles are articles for THIS generation. They are in list form, are right to the point, and even use pictures! Many listicles have titles such as “Top 10 Life-Changing Things To Try In 2016“. According to Nyree McKenzie of Thought Bubble, listicles can cover a wide range of things such as

“facts, tips, quotations, examples…opinions, and research.”

While listicles can be found on many different sites, the most common website where you

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BuzzFeed

are able to find listicles is BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed is a website where their

“greatest hits connect with people on a massive scale, and play a significant role in connecting people to each other. We are best known for exploding watermelons, The Dress, Tasty, award-winning news investigations, quizzes, and lists.

Anyone can create a BuzzFeed account and quickly create listicles of their own. They are extremely easy to make and have three different options for the set up, either plain list, numbered, or countdown. Plain list is an option that just lists things, but they are not numbered. If using the option “numbered,” than your list will appear in number order (i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4…). If you are using the option countdown, than your list will countdown numbers (i.e. 10, 9, 8, 7…). On my BuzzFeed  account, I created a listicle titled “Top 10 Reasons to Become a Teacher“. This listicle is meant to be a funny one, listing ten different silly reasons that one would want to become a teacher using the numbered form. Clearly by what is being said and the tone of what is being said, the reader would be able to understand that it is meant to be a joke and not a serious listicle. I also created a listicle titles “Top 10 Reasons Why Growing Up In The 90’s Was Awesome“. In this listicle, I listed ten different things that made growing up in the 90’s great. I listed things such as the cartoons, Tamagotchis, and Lisa Frank using the numbered order as well.

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Meme Genres

Memes are something that we see all across our social media networks on a daily basis, but do we really know what qualifies a meme to actually be a meme? Well, according to Limor Shifman, meme genre is defined as

“”socially recognized types of communicative action,” [that] share not only structures and stylistic features, but also themes, topics, and intended audiences.”

While memes are a genre themselves, there are also different genres within the meme genre. For example, there are reaction photoshops, photo fads, flash mob, lipsynch, misheard lyrics, recut trailers, LOLCats, stock character macros, and rage comics. As Shifman states,

“different meme genres involve different levels of literacy: some can be understood (and created) by almost anyone, whereas others require detailed knowledge about a digital meme subculture.”

For example, this is a meme that I created using a

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Maury

popular picture of Maury that is supposed to begin with saying “You said……..the lie detector determined that was a lie.” This meme has circulated all around social media, all using this same exact picture and using that line. In order for someone to understand the meaning of this and why it is funny, they would have to be familiar with Maury’s show.

Another meme that I made was using a picture of Dave Chappelle from a skit that he use to do on the

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Dave Chapelle

Dave Chappelle Show where he pretended that he was a crack head. In this meme, you would also have to know the context of the picture to understand the meaning of what is being said. On mine, I wrote “Yall got any of them Hatchimals.” The reason that I chose to write hatchimals is because that it the hottest toy of the year and people are going crazy over them. My son wanted one so bad for Christmas that I actually slept in my car last week so I could get him one!

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Lord of the Rings

Finally, I made a meme based off of the movie Lord of the Rings. This meme is also very popular and begins with saying “One does not simply….”. In order to understand the genre of this or any other meme, one would have to have prior knowledge of the movie in order to understand what is being said and why is is being said.

The GIF

Although there were different uses for the GIF when they first came about, today they are now used as an animated file, that is typically only a few seconds long and is circulated through our social media accounts. The primary purpose of GIFs was for images for webpages, however, they quickly spilled into other parts of the digital world. For example, do you remember those glittery images that we use to add to our MySpace pages to make the layout look pretty? Well, those are called glitter GIFs. According to Jason Eppink, glitter GIFs are

“used as digital stickers [or] badges, [are described as] imitates sparkling glitter, jewelry, [and can be] cartoon characters, butterflies, graphical text, [or] romantic icons (hearts, roses).”

When Facebook and Twitter came about, they refused the idea of GIFs, however, Tumblr allowed it.

“Tumblr is also responsible for igniting mainstream interest in the GIF as an aesthetic form, curating search results for the #GIF tag that foreground and cultivate original works created for their own sake.”

As stated in my previous blog, Kerry Dirk states that a genre is

“telling a joke, writing an email, or uploading a witty status on Facebook.”

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Dog peeing fire

Therefore, Dirk would consider the GIF a genre in itself. GIFs typically are used as a reaction to something, tell a short story, or describe a

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Tommy Pickles

feeling. They are usually humorous or sarcastic, just like memes. GIFs are also similar to memes because you can literally make one for ANYTHING. For example, here is a GIF that I made to describe my feelings on Mondays. I took a clip of Tommy Pickles crying from Rugrats and used it as my image to show my reaction to the text that I wrote on the GIF. Another example that I created is a

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Reaction GIF

reaction GIF. Reaction GIFs can be anything from eye rolls, to high fives, or winks. Here, I used a thumbs up reaction GIF and took a clip from the movie ELF, where his dad is sarcastically giving him a thumbs up.

GIFs are no longer only found on Tumblr. You can find GIFs on other social media websites such as circulating on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. GIFs are a fun and easy way in which you can express yourself with a little humor!

 

 

Memes

When we think of the word “genre” we automatically assume that it has something to do with reading or writing, such as fiction, non-fiction, comedy, or drama. However, it can really be just about anything. According to Kerry Dirk, genres can be

“telling a joke, writing an email, or uploading a witty status on Facebook.”

Therefore, we encounter genres on a daily basis. One genre in particular that we probably encounter very often is memes, also known as internet memes. If you look anywhere on social media, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you will be sure to run into a meme. What is a meme you ask? Well, according to Elise Moreau, a meme

“can be almost any idea or concept expressed in some form of content on the web…It can be a photo, a video, a person, an animal, a fictional character, an event, a song, a belief, a GIF, a symbol, a word or anything else.”

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Here we have a meme that someone took a picture of Kim Kardashian crying and added “Its Monday again!”

What Moreau is trying to say here is that a meme can pretty much be a picture that you may have taken or found somewhere (or anything else listed above), with something written on it that is typically sarcastic or humorous. Oh, and there is literally a meme for everything. And yes, I mean EVERYTHING! You want a meme about Mondays…you got it! You want a

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Hilarious break-up meme

meme about a breakup your going through..you got it! You can literally Google meme for ________ and I can almost guarantee you, SOMETHING will pop up. For example, right now with all of the crazy presidential stuff going on in the world, people decided to lighten up the mood and make

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Meme of Obama and Biden

different hilarious memes with President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden. In these memes, they take different photos of them that they found on the internet and add some type of text to them. For a week straight, I could not scroll through my news feed for a second without seeing memes of our President and Vice-President, and I must say, they are pretty hilarious and I think they did a great job at lightening up the mood a little bit. While these are just a few examples of what memes are, I think it is also important to know where memes came from. Richard Dawkins first used the word meme in 1976 in his book titled The Selfish Gene 

“as an attempt to explain the way cultural information spreads.”

However, Mike Godwin was the first to propose ‘internet memes’ in 1993, and in 2013 Dawkins

“characterized the internet meme as being a meme deliberately altered by human creativity… [and they] leave a footprint in the media through which they propagate (for example, social networks) that renders them traceable and analyzable.”

There are many types of memes, but the most common is called the ‘image macros.’

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Here is an example of an image macros

This meme uses a font (usually Impact), that is centered at the top and the bottom of the image. The image is placed behind the text and can be any image you want, but is typically a “known image”-something found on the internet such as the one above of Kim Kardashian or President Obama.

There is no denying that memes are a powerful tool that this generation often uses. In the future when our current culture is described, memes will absolutely be a part of it because they are something that is not only humorous, but also very creative.

Always On

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Is this what we’e become?

Throughout the article Always On by Sherry Turkle, she discusses how technology has changed over time and the effects that it has had on people and the world around us. This article causes us to step back and take a closer look at ourselves and examine how we let technology change us as people. As a mom, I agree with Turkle about how technology has helped parents stay in contact with their children and how having things such as cell phones can make both the child and the parent feel more secure. And of course, especially from a parents perspective, it is amazing to have a camera always with you to capture those amazing life moments. But at what point do we put our phones down and actually live IN these moments?

While technologies do bring many positive aspects to the table, they also bring forth many issues. For example, Turkle brings up the issue of how people will present themselves one way on sites such as Facebook, but in reality are nothing like that person. These people are presenting not who they really are, but rather who they WANT to be. Ask yourself, how many friends do you have on Facebook alone that you see them post something and think, “But I know you in real life” or “You don’t really act or even look like that.” It seems to me that a lot of the time, people will in fact portray themselves as the person that they WANT to be, rather than who they really are, so what does that say about the current world we live in? Are we all supposed to just go along with these lies people tell, or sit back and laugh at it, because at the end of the day it is just social media NOT real life.

If you are starting to realize that I have an overall negative view on the many technologies of the world, than you are absolutely right. I couldn’t agree with Turkle more when she talked about how people no longer interact with each other because they are too busy being glued to their phones. This is the world we live in today. The number of children who you see outside playing, or at the park is next to none. Most children are bottled up inside their homes on their phones, computers, or playing video games. And parents? Ugh. Don’t get me started on the parents that rather be glued to their phones or computers instead of watching their children. That is something that if I see, it instantly infuriates me. For example, take the “sexting dad” that left his baby in the car to die because he was too busy sexting women to remember that his child was even in the car.

Situations like the “sexting dad” can show just how bad it is to have those constant distractions around us at all times. It is important for us as a society to interact with the people around us and not be glued to our phones or computers at all times. There is no denying the positives that technologies have, but ask yourself, is it worth compromising who you are as a person?