Driving home tonight, I heard an interview on NPR with a “meme researcher.” I wonder how a person gets that title. I also wonder what the difference is between a meme and something that has gone viral. The dude being interviewed tried to explain, but it only made things murkier for me. Any understanding I had of the difference between the two completely disappeared, mainly because he used a viral video as his example of a meme. Are the two terms really so different?
A few minutes ago, as we were eating dinner, my fiance remarked that, “From what I can tell, the word ‘viral’ is a bigger ‘meme’ than the word, ‘meme.'” I think he has a point! What are your thoughts?