South students express themselves through internet trends

Emily Zimbler, staff reporter

Junior George Wood’s phone buzzes. He picks up the device, glances it over and laughs at a meme sent by his co-workers from camp. The meme that Woof received was about an event that happened at camp.  Wood replies with laughing emojis. He clicks out of the group chat and opens Tumblr to find a feed full of memes including doge, pepe and harambe.

Reflecting on the popularity of memes, Wood explained the concept behind memes, or humorous videos shared among the internet. Memes are one of the many internet trends of today along with phenomenons such as the water bottle flip challenge or the cinnamon challenge.

“[Memes are] relatable because you know all about this one thing, and the original meaning of meme is an idea that is passed through people,” Wood said. “If an idea is more relatable to certain people, it’s more likely to be passed along.”

According to a non-scientific Oracle survey, 75 percent of the South students have participated in an internet phenomenon, or shared one of these viral online trends through social media. According to Wood, students and teachers relate to internet phenomenons because of social media presence.

Junior Zoe Golden has participated in these internet challenges with clubs and sports such as Key Club, Girls Swim Team and Choir. According to Golden, internet phenomenons sometimes serve as a common ground between two different people and encourage bonding.

“It’s just so easy for everyone to connect with [internet trends] and everyone knows about them,” Golden said. “It’s really hard to find an activity to unify a club that’s big especially like Key Club or girls swim team so by doing an internet trend it’s easier to connect over something that everyone knows about.”

According to Golden, these trends create a sense of unity within a group of people who do not know each other due to their familiarity amongst most teenagers. The water bottle flip challenge, Golden explained, helped her bond with another Key Club leader during the leader board’s summer trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan.

“The key club board did that [water bottle flip challenge] while we went on a trip together,” Golden said. “We were doing an amazing race sort of thing on Mackinac Island, and the way we got one of our clues was our teammate and us had to flip the water bottle, and get it to stand […]. Me and my teammate had to work together to figure it out. […] I didn’t really know her before[hand], so it was a good way to connect.”