I was not really involved with social media back in 2016 (despite being 16) but this was the moment where the internet reaaaally broke.
On this day in 2016, Harambe, a gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, was shot and killed after a 3-year-old child fell into his enclosure. From that moment on, we split into a different timeline and I don’t think I have been alive since. Now it seems like when you think back on the domino effect that has led to how we use memes today, Harambe was the start. Sure there was plenty of memes going on before then, but this feels like the meme that really split the internet into the feral environment it is today. Like 2016 was such a disaster that we all just cracked and this was the result. This wasn’t a meme about something specific – like a show or band – this was a universal thing. It’s all anyone would talk about. He was on shirts, all over social media, and I even had a “RIP Harambe” bracelet.
This was the first instance I remember of the internet memeing over something.
I wasn’t very active on social media (I only used Tumblr and Instagram as a Directioner) but this literally took over every social media it was on. Once again, there were other memes that everyone had seen, but this one literally flooded my feeds for weeks. That got kids my age (high school) sharing and posting more. This is why it feels like Harambe’s death is where the timeline split and now to cope with literally anything, our generation makes memes about it. I mean…
Anyway, to play me out–
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Featured Image: Reddit u/Anenome5