Sooooo, I've been meaning to write about this for awhile now and want to get it done before the Bedhouse Games blog becomes overrun with Oculus Launch Pad dev posts (what what!? how awesome is that ^_^).
I unironically love memes, gifs and pics alike. If presented to the proper audience using memes can cut down on the amount of text needed to convey emotional meaning by between 50% and 80% (I made up that stat, but I'd wager it's close by some metric). What makes them so useful? Basically memes, treated as a linguistic element, are providing the same functionality as determinatives such as those present in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Determinatives are ideograms that are used to mark semantic categories of words which help disambiguate interpretation. Glyphs that are homophonic (they sound the same but have different meaning) are common in Egyptian hieroglyphs, and the determinative is the unspoken glyph that comes after (or sometimes before) the phonetic glyphs and tells you which word or concept is being referred to among similarly sounding words.
In English the same differentiating function is executed via spelling: plain and plane, night and knight, you get the idea.
Memes execute the same function by modifying the meaning of whatever text they are posted with, often times making it such that hardly any long form expository text is needed to convey emotional subtext. For example:
Obviously the first instance of "Fine" means something completely different from the second thanks to the Wojak and Dark Stare Rage Face memes.
How did this become a thing? I don't know for sure, but I think it's due to a combination of posting from mobile, character limits, ease of organizing downloaded images, and the rate at which memes are shared (and thus are understood by wide audience) has something to do with it.
Anyways, I'm not the best wordsmith (and I don't aim to be) so the use of supplemental memes appeals to me and I wish I could use them on the regular in emails and such. We'll see what the future of communication on the internet holds for us on that account ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
* If anyone is wondering how I know about Egyptian hieroglyphs it's because I took a class on it in undergrad, it was a good class.