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A piece of modern history was discovered this weekend when a Twitter user unearthed and shared what may be Homo sapiens’ first ever meme. A user by the name of wida shared a photo of a comic strip from 1921 comparing “How you think you look when a flashlight is taken,” to “How you really look.” Flashlight is 20’s slang for photograph. Wida called it relatable and other users quickly pronounced it society’s first meme.

Seeing as this is the internet and #FakeNews is everywhere, people were skeptical about the origins of this so called “1920s meme.” It wouldn’t be the first time we were fooled by the internet. Thankfully, our meme historian was right there with her sources. The comic strip is from the July 1921 issue of an old magazine called The Judge which was digitized on Google by the University of Iowa. The page of “College Wits” includes other comics and jokes that are still pretty relatable today. Looks like humans have always used humour to cope with their problems. People had some insights about this new revelation.

Mostly, people were just excited for the opportunity to re-meme the earliest known meme. Because what else do you do when you come across an artifact such as this on the internet? There’s really no other option.

Finally, the philosophers of the internet weighed in with their thoughts on what the human inclination to meme and make jokes about our misfortunes truly memes, er – means.

Keep it up, fellow humans. It looks like using humour as a coping mechanism is just in our nature. Let’s enjoy it.

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