Memes

Note to future self…

What are memes? Here how I think about it:

Meme (1): portable stories that can be easily replicated

Meme (2): the smallest unit of culture

We tend to think of memes as the funny things we see in our social feeds and that’s true but it’s a lot more. I really enjoyed reading about the etymology of the word and how it was coined in the 1976 book The Selfish Gene. I might write more on this once I get to read the whole book but for now, I will say that the term meme as the sociological counterpart to its biological cousin the gene is quite clever.

Ok that’s cool but why is this important?

Well if you care about becoming a good communicator thinking about your ideas as memes can be tremendously helpful. If your ideas can become memes (portable, shareable, universally understood, etc.), then you’re a terrific communicator.

How can my ideas become memes? Should you try to make them memes or not? The memes that don’t feel forced tend to be the ones that catch on. Hmm, food for thought.

Now back to work…