Often shared through social media, memes are now a core part of Internet culture. Their power  build strong communities among online users. Many are serious and. insightful, but most are funny.  Facebook moms, for instance, often share outdated Despicable Me Minion memes because they find them amusing and relatable.

Memes come in the form of images, videos and GIFs. They serve as a platform for online trends and are fora for engaging in cultural discourse. They unite people through humour, and they also serve as springboards for social and political commentary.

As with other internet phenomena, memes are always evolving. People now use memes to share news, making them popular among Jamaican businesses and institutions in the online space. They are a great way to get instant feedback from the online public.

Meme popularity is a direct result of increased social media usage. In May, Global Stats reports that 54.11% of Jamaicans use Facebook, 24.53% use Instagram and 10.46% use Twitter. This influx of data comes with the steady decline in traditional media use, and changed the ways Jamaicans consume information.

In the digital age, modern societies spend much of their time online. This has forced  companies and institutions to package and share information with the public in different ways. The private and public sectors here are adapting to meme culture to capture the attention of and engage  target audiences. They clearly hope to foster better connections with Jamaicans by being seen as more approachable.

This conscious brand positioning has already benefited conservative institutions like the Jamaican Constabulary Force.  The JCF often reaches out to communities for information about criminals and are using memes effectively to this end. Such interaction needs a sense of trust between parties that cannot be built in a space where people do not feel welcomed. By making their brand more approachable, police help communities feel more comfortable sharing useful information despite our “Informa fi dead” culture.  

Memes are useful for sharing information for another reason. Younger generations have short attention spans. Memes are simple to read and can be understood in a matter of seconds. Jamaican social media pages such as This_is_a_blast show the value of memes in reaching to audiences quickly and effectively.