The internet is filled with “memes”. I use the “” advisedly, because they are distcint and different from the psydo-scientific term Meme. Of the “memes” that are floating about the internet, most seem to be a comment on life, but there are some that seem to be suggestions on how to live a better life. These are either portrayed ironically (as in, showing a negative behaviour in a humours light), or by repeating some general words of comfort in the form of positive reenforcement.
It seems that peopel are attempting to fill some basic need with the “memes”. Perhaps it is the idea of recognition, that a good “meme” will be shared, and liked, or perhaps it is that seeking for advice in a form that easy to understand, articulate, and act upon. The provalence of such “memes” suggest that they are replacing something that had gone before.
Movie quotes have, for a long time, become part of our lives. Quotes like “May the Force be with you”, or “I love the smell of napalm in the morning”, or even “Good Morning Vietnam!”. They seem to be ways of encapsulating a lot of sentiment. “Build it and they will come”, comes with it the idea that what a person is suggesting seems impossible, or daft, or weird, but that following that course of action will produce a good result. The collories with the film Field of Dreams seek to fill in the gaps. For many of the quotes, someone does not need to have seen the film, but their existance in the culture will have meant that the story of the quote will have been explained by way of explainging the quote.
It seems that the prevalance of these two ideas have repalced other forms of encoding information. Proverbs, mostly taken from the Bible, but also other saysing of Christ were used in a similar way. “Jesus Wept”, “Two in the hand”, “hide your light under a bushel”, “(love of) money is the root of all evil”, and so on. As familiarity with the context and impact of these lines fall out of the culture, others have risen to replace them.
It is unlikely that the original set, those form the Bible, were kept for religious reasons. While they may be likely heard on the lips of those who spend much time in that culture, they are just as likely to use internet “memes”, or movie quotes.
It could be suggested that there is a hole in the way that we encode and transfer information that is now being used in the Movie Quotes/”memes”. I’m not sure it has anything to do with faith, or lack thereof.