No, I don’t think this definition is completely accurate.
Plenty of things are widely shared on the internet, like interesting or shocking news stories, funny videos, and movie trailers. If a video gets a lot of likes and shares online, we can say it ‘went viral’.
Internet memes are also things that go viral, but in a particular way. For example:
– someone puts a photo on the internet to show to family and friends.
– someone else finds the photo, edit it in some way (adding a funny text to the photo, or they might take a short clip or a still photo from a movie, or even edit two pictures together to create something new).
– other people now find the edited version, like it, and share it.
– more internet users edit the photo, creating different jokes or stories with it, and sharing these, so that there are multiple versions of the meme.
Therefore, internet memes usually involve a change of meaning from the original video or photo. Often the original is taken totally out of its context.
For example, here’s the Hide the Pain Harold meme, which started out as a photo of a man in his sixties, smiling while sitting at a computer. We’ll be listening to the man in the photo talking about his experiences, back on the main lesson page here.