#ItsComingHome in memes - which is your favourite?
The Great British sense of humour has found a perfect vehicle in social media.
Seen the one about Gareth Southgate’s Ikea trip – or the latest Neymar taunt?
Chances are if you are on social media you won’t have been able to avoid them.
World Cup 2018 has been defined by social media.
While the media pours over the tournament through traditional channels, there is a huge conversation going on involving millions of people armed with mobile phones.
Memes are the big thing that define the themes of this World Cup – from Neymar’s penchant for diving to Southgate’s sartorial elegance.
The word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book called The Selfish Gene. It is an attempt to explain the way that cultural information spreads.
Some are simple images, adapted for comic effect. Ikea memes trended before during and after the Swedish game. There were plenty of jokes involving flat-pack furniture, but the one with Gareth Southgate leaving the store with his trophy cabinet was by far the most popular.
Some are satirical, such as the images of the numerically-challenged Diane Abbott declaring Germany to be her favourite team the day after they had been knocked out.
Then there are the videos. With Three Lions back at number one there are endless variations on the theme. Putin’s piano rendition, the adapted Only Fools and Horses sketch.
Memes are a godsend for sites like Facebook. They drive up traffic, and that means extra revenue.
But their cultural importance should not be under-estimated, says Jim Chappell of GQ magazine.
He says they represent the fun and hopeful side of young people in England, adding: “England’s young, confident, social-media-savvy players are heavily involved themselves, with Jesse Lingard pretending he called his mum to tell her it’s coming home and Harry Maguire’s ‘chat-up lines’ becoming an entirely separate meme.
“Adorable isn’t a characteristic one usually looks for in a football team, but that’s what we’ve got and it seems to be working.
“The silly side of football is a big part of why we love it and this is a great example of some of the fun that people who don’t like it are missing out on.
“Yes, it’s great when Cristiano Ronaldo executes an exquisite last-minute free kick to complete his hat-trick on the biggest stage of all.
“What is also great is when Hugo Lloris has to spit out a dragonfly that flew into his mouth because his gloves prevent him from doing anything else and it’s then captured as a gif forevermore.”
And there's more: