Any internet meme
or phenomenon which was both popular enough and has been around long enough that a random sampling of the Internet population would likely produce a majority of individuals who have already heard about it and moved on. Even though the subject of the meme may indeed be older than the inception of the World Wide Web, the phrase always refers to the meme itself.
The word "older" thus implies the use of hyperbole
, because an Internet meme obviously cannot be older than its own medium of proliferation.
The phrase is most often invoked when said meme is regurgitated by n00bs
who are taking their first wild drive on the "Information Superhighway"; or by idiots who refuse to admit that the meme is just no longer amusing.
Variations include: "As old as the Internet" or playfully misspelled: "Older than teh Interwebs"
Guy #1: "all your base are belong to us
Guy #2: "LOL! We get signal!"
Guy #3: "Main screen turn on!"
Guy #4: "I hope you lame-asses realize that AYB is older than the internet. GTFO."n00b
: "... and if you open it up, you get thirty-two double-A sized batteries! Check out this video if you don't believe me."
dude: "Don't tell me you actually believe that crap. That hoax is older than teh Interwebs."PHB
: "Can you change the email link here to one of those 3D spinning e's? 3D is the future, you know."
Underling: "Sir, 3D may be the future, but the spinning e animated GIF is as old as the Internet."