Are memes the latest form of media?

I thought of this initially as a joke, but then started pondering it more - are meme’s the next step in media evolution?

When it comes to all other forms of media, be it TV, movies, video games, paintings, books etc, they all hold certain characteristics:

  • They are art
  • Their potential ranges from the silly to poignant
  • They represent a group or individual’s expression
  • They take past forms of media and shape them into something new

To me, the pathway through which recent media has evolved from images to moving images to interactive images (at a very basic level). Memes sit at another level - they are static images, taken by a user and manipulated, then added to the larger conversation around the meme. They are images, yet they are interactive. They are personal, yet public. They are one thing, but the are many. They have an original creation point, but then evolve as time goes on. We consume them as we do other media, then move on.

…Man, I need to go to bed

Galaxy brain: memes are video games


I think the rapid speed at which the American Chopper meme went from a silly way to present an opinion, to a self-aware existential reflection on what it even is and how it reflects on humanity was a great story on its own.

So to answer your question: I think so?

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im the latest form of media

Memes predate podcasts, which are the current latest form of media.

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Memes predate the internet if you count small image and text comics or pictorial spreads so latest, no, media, yes definitely.


The idea of the meme is decades old already, and the current pop culture understanding certainly emulates the traditional definition. Simple ways that we can communicate, short-cuts that every culture ever has used to express ideas to others who share their culture.

They are absolutely media*, but an age-old form of media. Rather, the internet is now just the near-universal society that has developed its own coherent language, with pop-culture memes powerful communicative short cuts.

*Edit, depending on your definition of media, but I think I define media as various means of expression.

some might argue that memes are the oldest form of media,

makes you think

May I just say:



comemedia del arte

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