Two potential box office bombs hit theaters on Wednesday, July 19. Oppenheimer, by Christopher Nolan, with Cillian Murphy and Matt Damon and Barbie, by Greta Gerwig, with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. On social networks, a rain of “memes” begins to arise on the opposition between the two films. Which of these feature films will attract the most viewers?

But by the way, what is a meme? It is a text, an image or a video massively taken up, declined and diverted on the Internet in an often parodic way, which spreads very quickly and creates the buzz. Advertisers or public relations, for example, use it to promote their products or services.

We all have in mind the famous “meme” of the distracted boyfriend. This image, taken by photographer Antonio Guillem. Collected in 2015, the photo became a popular meme two years later. We see a man turn around, whistling at a woman dressed in red, under the indignant gaze of his girlfriend who is holding his hand. By adding captions to this image, netizens had fun depicting situations that people found themselves in when in a dilemma.

The distracted boyfriend meme has never been as applicable to a situation as this season of The Bachelorette

The term was first proposed by biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene in 1976. He describes the meme as a cultural object (an idea, behavior, habit) that seeks to be transmitted, as do the genes. Originally, it is a distortion of the word “mimesis” – “imitation” in ancient Greek. In the mental realm, memes are replicators, responsible for the evolution of certain animal behaviors and cultures. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a meme is a cultural or behavioral element that is transmitted from person to person by imitation.