The pandemic and politics propel meme usage

That made looking at memes the sixth-most cited digital activity of the 20 included in the survey, behind searching for coronavirus updates (68%), listening to music (58%), watching movies or shows (49%), watching funny videos (42%), and playing games on mobile (40%).

Among respondents 16 to 23 years old, looking at memes was the No. 3 activity, with 54% having done so on the day of the survey. Only listening to music (71%) and searching for coronavirus updates (67%) had higher response rates.

A May 2020 survey by We Are Social and GlobalWebIndex looked at how often internet users in the US and UK shared memetic content on social media. It found that memes were the third-most popular type of content to share, cited by 29% of respondents, behind only personal news (40%) and funny videos (36%). What’s more, 44% of those ages 16 to 23, and 34% of those ages 24 to 37, said they were sharing more memes than they were previously.

As evidenced by “Chairman Sanders,” the US presidential election has been another catalyst for meme usage. According to a September 2020 study by The Harris Poll and Fast Company, for instance, 55% of US adults reported they had shared a political meme in the previous three months. Of those respondents, 54% said they were sharing more memes than they were one year prior.

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