There may be some confusion as to the meaning of the word meme (rhymes with dream). John Gunders and Damon Brown, authors of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Memes, define it as, “A cultural unit of measure. It can be a thought, a phrase, a style, or any other cultural expression that can be imitated by individuals. More important, a meme is a replicator; that is, a particle of culture that strives to get itself copied as many times as possible.”
Basically it is an idea that is replicated through imitation. There is a lot of that going around on the Internet. If an idea catches on there, it may be referred to as “going viral”. There is much more than just Internet messages that are memes. Gunders and Brown explain that things like philosophy, sex, religion and politics also exhibit meme qualities.
It is a unit of culture such as a tune, idea, habit, that makes its way from person to person. It must be short enough to catch on and easily understood. There are a lot of versions of the following meme that are based on different job occupations. The template of what others think that the job entails is the same. People have had some fun putting in their own ideas of the different perspectives of a job. Here is one for a sales professional: