It is no secret that college students spend an inordinate amount of time on the Internet. Whether or not it is for school-related activities is hard to say. Recently, a major trend has taken ISU by storm: viral Internet images known as memes (pronounced MEEMZ).
Iowa State has earned an Iowa State University memes (unofficial) page on Facebook, and ISU students are posting up a storm. The site on Facebook has exploded over the past few days that it has been online.
"It went from 300 to 3000 likes in 24 hours. It's kind of blown up," said Dylan Hughes, sophomore in biology, who has contributed to the site.
With the increasing use of websites like 4chan, reddit and Memebase, memes have spilled onto Facebook on the Iowa State University memes page and have been springing up all over the place, including the University of Iowa and Western Illinois, which have their own meme pages as well.
Hughes is a regular contributor to Iowa State University memes and has made what he describes as "too many," but continues to make them. He used the sites Quickmeme to make memes as a way to take a break from homework or to "troll" people.
He was turned on to the ISU site after seeing a few on the University of Iowa. He wanted to make sure people use them right, because they are often misconstrued and are not captioned with information that pertains to the meme.
"There's obviously some misused memes," he said regarding Iowa State's page. "It kind of depends on what meme you're using. There's a certain format for making one."
He recommended checking KnowYourMeme.com for figuring out how to make sense of them. He cited some common mistakes such as mixing up college freshman with lazy college senior and incorrectly re-captioning Fry from the television series Futurama.
The New Oxford American Dictionary defines memes as, "An element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation."
For those who do not know, Internet memes are pictures taken from the Internet and popular culture that are recaptioned by Internet users. Essentially, memes take advantage of items from popular culture or relatable photos that make jokes, ask questions or make statements about what people associate with the photo.
Most memes are either individual images such as Bachelor Frog, Facebook Girl, High Expectations Asian Dad, Ordinary Muslim Man or numerous other photos from films such as Toy Story, Lord of the Rings and Futurama. They can be made on websites that have generators for user-uploaded memes they can post to the website or circulate through social media websites.
Brian Maw, senior of graphic design, also contributed to the feed. He uses websites that generate memes regularly to take a break from classes. He initially got into it because he picked it up on his news feed and wanted to show ISU students how to use them.
"There's a lot of websites that have it," Maw said. "It's time to take time away from studying and have a laugh."