Are LOLcats Making Us Smart?
While the specifics of Miltner's analysis may uniquely describe LOLCats, the argument she is making is bigger: Like space-invasion films of the mid-20th century or soap operas of more recent decades, the cultural phenomena of Internet memes reflect societal anxieties or desires, and that through studying these memes we can better understand what is going on in the collective mind of our culture. To ignore Internet memes, is to ignore the huge outpouring of modern folk culture that is occurring online, and -- taking the analysis one step further yet -- the ways that the Internet's particular participatory capacity is shaping that culture.
Yes! I have been vindicated. In all seriousness, I do find memes fascinating and have thought about whole conversations taking place with a set of meme images, sort of like a Internet version of hieroglyphics.
#lolcats #psychology #culture #research