Memes are often simply understood as cultural expressions that are shared through the Internet, but according to Lucie Chateau, there's more to the story. Memes are a much older phenomenon, and are produced in various forms and can have various levels of complexity. For instance, when COVID-19 began to affect societies and people where first forced to quarantine, memes were utilized by a relatively broad audience, which resulted in memes that were less ironic and contained fewer layers of information. However, when people try to evade surveillance, or produce memes for people that have more "meme literacy", they will probably create memes that are less easy to understand and more "coded".
Though memes are often perceived as ‘fun’, the different literacies that are involved in the creation and interpretation of memes can also produce some issues. In her research on online depression culture, Chateau observed how memes that were meant to be ironic were misinterpreted, which resulted in digital conflicts and backlash. According to Chateau, memes can sometimes also function as “entry points” into certain discourses and politics. People might, for instance, see how a particular online community is producing memes that appear innocent on the surface, and decide to participate in this community by liking, sharing and potentially even creating memes. By doing so, however, they might be supporting ideological beliefs without being fully aware of these beliefs’ background and consequences.