Meme: an idea that spreads through a population, taking hold like a virus. They can be harmful: racist memes that spread through a family/territory/area. Or, as in the case of faith-based religions, they can be argued to be helpful--they assist people to live happier, more peaceful lives (unless that faith-based religion likes to bash/fight other people in which case, let's go back to calling it harmful).
And in terms of internet memes, they can make you feel like you're in fourth grade, still feathering your hair the wrong way, pegging your jeans but not knowing the rubber band trick so the pant leg always falls down.
If you miss a meme, you're out. Not with it. You're hanging with the uncool crowd, and you thought you doing okay up until that point. Someone chortles and says, "But what does it meeeeean?" and everyone else says, "Double Rainbow!" And you go, huh? Then everybody trips over themselves to tell you about the funniest thing that's ever happened, anywhere, and YOU MISSED IT, and they tell you the story, and even though you don't care, you try to look like you do, because then maybe you'll be a little cooler than you were five minutes ago.
Can you tell I was one of the uncool kids? When my peers at school at school would ask if I knew the latest song, I would nod and pretend that I did. Friendship pins? No, I just didn't like wearing mine, I said, desperate to catch a glimpse of one so I could try to approximate it in private later.
And I can see the attraction of a meme, I really can. It's fun to be on the forefront of anything. "Yeah, it has five million views now but when I saw it first it had six." But I miss too many things. I get Rickrolled and I don't even know it. (But click here if you'd like to be -- wouldn't you like that?) It's a flood. No one can keep up with the coolth on the internet, so I've given up again. I keep abreast of the knitting memes as much as I can (and they exist, believe me. Clapotis! Koigu! Swallowtail!) but that's about it.
But now, because I know something that you MIGHT not know about, I have to share it with you -- did you know about whisper videos? That they're A Thing? People video themselves whispering, and people clamor for more. It seems to be some kind of relaxation fetish-y type thing, and I'm both fascinated and completely creeped out by them. I can't listen to them, can't even get through one. But there's a good example here. I think you should click. Good GOD, it's odd.
And THAT, my friends, is what the internet is for.