Jenn Smola, Campus Editor

Gene Wilder, as WIlly Wonka, admonishes students for their footwear choices. The Miami University Memes Facebook page has over 3,000 ‘likes.’ (Contributed by Austin Friedman)

If you are a Miami University Facebook user, you have probably noticed the explosion of “memes” on your news feed lately.

With the creation of a “Miami University Memes” Facebook page, students have created and posted memes that relate specifically to Miami. The memes vary from poking fun at Ohio University students to satirizing Miami traditions such as avoiding stepping on the seal.

Most of the memes consist of inside jokes that all Miami students can relate to. Over 3,000 people have “liked” the page so far.

The creators of the Miami University Memes page remain anonymous. The Miami Student contacted them through Facebook and email but they declined to comment for legal reasons.

Glenn Platt, director of the Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies, explained how memes are things that can be reused and remixed.

“A meme is a theme that catches fire virally across the Internet,” Platt said. “They’re almost always humorous and amusing.”

Shira Chess, visiting assistant professor of communication, said memes deal largely with audiences and that the culture of them cannot be predicted.

“This is all about audiences, and audiences pick up on things and push it forward,” Chess said. “It’s not something that can be led by any media corporation. It ends up being entirely audience-specific.”

First-year Austin Friedman created a meme for the Facebook page, mocking Miami students Sperry boat shoes. Friedman said he thinks the page has become so popular because the memes reflect things that are somewhat true.

“They say what people are thinking in a way that’s funny,” Friedman said.

According to Platt, memes have been popular for a long time, but they have become easier to make in the past five years, which might explain why their popularity seems to be exploding.

“I was glad to see [the Miami memes Facebook page],” Platt said. “I thought it was fantastic. This strikes me as a wonderful way students can express themselves.”

First-year Rachel Novick is a fan of the page.

“I think they’re really funny,” Novick said. “I think it’s fun to make fun of your own stereotype, and that’s kind of what the page does.”

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