In December 2011, Internet geek Len Kendall solicited the help of friends, along with the readers of Buzzfeed, to spread a picture of himself in various memes. The idea was to creatively and cleverly propose to the love of his life, Katie Holland, who is also an avid web user, with the message, "Katie I love you so much, can I haz your hand in marriage?" The memes went viral, and several hundred tweets rang out to "SayYesKatie." A few hours after his meme hit the Internet, Kendall did propose in person, and she did say yes.
Memes are the current rage across web-land, being shared via social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. So what exactly is a meme?
More from YourTango: Was Jesus Really Married? Christian Experts Sound In
Evolutionist and biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term in his book, The Selfish Gene. The word is derived from the Greek form of "mimeme" which means to imitate. 8 Steps To Attract Positive Energy Into Your Life
This cultural phenomenon can be credited with the transferring of words and images from "brain to brain." According to Dawkins, memes are cultural transmitters that give longevity and power to particular ideas. Memes can be life-altering, as in the propagation of Biblical doctrines from age to age. They can also just be plain fun.
One of the more popular memes making its way across the Internet are the lolcats. Images of cats are paired with captions, some recognizable, which make the word structures memes in themselves. Websites have been created just to house the most popular memes for reference.
So for Kendall, using memes and the Internet was a logical choice to propose marriage. And it worked. But what about after the "I dos"? Can memes have any power during the marriage itself? In a word, yes. (Stay with me now.) What A Year In Marriage Taught Us About Love
According to Dr. Martin Seligman, who was a past president of the American Psychological Association, positive psychology can use memes to "flourish" relationships. To flourish in the psychological sense is to live life abundantly by actively cultivating positive connections.
For years, psychologists endeavored to traditionally help people by finding out what was wrong, and then design a therapy to fix it. With positive psychology, the approach is to find the strengths and virtues of a person or relationship, and then build upon those.
To me, it's sort of like counting your blessings instead of your burdens.
More from YourTango: One Person Doesn't Really "Complete You" Or Your Marriage
If I target on all that is wrong with my spouse, those negative thoughts and feelings will surely be communicated in my words and actions toward him, and become evident to others. Those would be negative memes. 5 Steps to Break Negative Thinking & Stop Beating Yourself Up!
For instance, if I complain to a friend that my husband does not listen to me, more than likely she will adopt or voice a similar complaint about her mate, and so on down the line.