Opinion:When memes aren’t funny

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Asem Abdelfattah

Assistant News Editor

Mediums of communications have vastly advanced and changed over a short period, and so has the way people express themselves. Perhaps one of the more interesting ways of self-expression, communication, and entertainment is the meme phenomenon. 

We don’t know precisely how or when it started or who started it. All we know is memes are here to stay. There are many kinds of memes: wholesome, satirical, edgy, dank, and much more.

However, the meme trend that I find very alarming is those on depression. These memes have a dark comedy theme where the “authors” pokes fun at themselves highlighting their depression, by expressing disappointment in themselves or expressing suicidal thoughts in jest.

Many have commented on social media and elsewhere saying these memes help them cope with life. Relating to pictures with words that have a smart, funny, and relevant joke is a numbing way to spend time. It is almost addictive. 

But sad memes can be harmful in many ways. First, they can have a triggering effect on someone who is already struggling with depression. There is also a relatable nature which may force those who are constantly looking at them to have a negatively biased view of themselves and the world. 

These memes seem to trivialize mental and emotional suffering, causing those who really struggle, to feel alienated or worse, to ignore their situation and leave it to worsen with time. It creates a comfort zone that tends to be hard to break out from.

About a month or so ago I decided I was not going to share, like, or even look at any memes. I especially avoided memes with depressive, suicidal and self-blame themes. 

I can already see the difference. And it’s huge! While I appreciated the quick dopamine fix I got from them, the long-term harmful effects seemed to outweigh the instant and temporary pleasure. 

Yes, memes are cool, funny, and relatable. However, they should be consumed with caution and moderation.

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