Having recently acquired at cat, I felt right at home in the Museum of the Moving Image. Among the large collection of featured artifacts is the exhibit, How Cats Took Over the Internet.The exhibit include images, videos, and GIFs range from cute and cuddly to strange and unusual with anthropomorphic characteristics. But what makes such a big phenomenon is the various paradoxes, otherwise known as memes. Essentially, “a meme is a piece of culture, typically a joke, which gains influence through online transmission” (Davison). The museum also has interactive stations where people can upload and share their own photos and videos.
What made the biggest impact on me was the collaborated effort in constructing these memes. Memes are subjective and particularly with the cat memes, each person puts their own personal spin on it. Whether the photographs are manipulated or unfinished, the idea that people spend so much time and effort making these memes, shows how social media has influenced society today and how much enjoyment people get from cats. Therefore the cat memes have become a attribution with multiple levels and degrees of collaboration.
In fact, according to a university press release, Media professor Jessica Gall Myrick, surveyed around 7,000 people and reported that watching cat videos increased their energy and positive emotions. She also claims that we need to research internet cats to understand the effects of the internet.
The best part of my visit was having the opportunity to interact and create a cat meme of my own. Of course, I was quite happy to participate and join the millions of people who create cat memes.