To Meme or Not to Meme

The thesis is that since mental health issues have been destigmatized, the openness about topics like depression and suicide has led to the creation of memes portraying these serious issues as a joke. The author is arguing this is a dangerous online trend and is destructive to our generation’s mental health. We learn the thesis after she tells us her own experience and right before she starts to talk about memes, so this way the reader can understand the role memes play on mental health and how the two relate to each other. 

The audience includes Gen Z, people who use the internet, people who struggle with mental health, and adolescents. She wants the audience to realize how dangerous the internet can be and how serious mental health issues are. She is writing to this audience because she wants the generation to be happy and healthy. She also wants people to be aware of the issue, so they stop the trend. 

The author uses logic and evidence by stating her logical argument/claim, then following it with evidence from various sources. Her sources include a university, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and a clinical therapist. Her logic and evidence are effectively organized as she has it in every paragraph and her thesis is always backed up. She also uses examples of memes to show how they are perceived, and then explains why that way is dangerous and the way they really should be perceived. For instance, she displays one meme about having bad coping mechanisms and another meme about the internet as an acceptable alternative to therapy. 

She creates her authority by first showing that she is well informed on the topic because of her past experiences, but then she shows her authority by using strong evidence to back up the serious claims she makes. She shows her own credibility when she states, “That’s right: internet memes played a role in my depressive spiral.” The author also cites reliable sources like Loughborough University, Common Sense Media studies, clinical therapist Meghan O’Flynn, and the US Department of Health & Human Services. The tone is serious and assertive and the diction consists of a strong passionate vocabulary, which makes the reader believe she knows what she is talking about, feels strongly about the topic, and can be trusted. 

She creates emotion by sharing her own experience with struggling with her mental health. She tells the reader that she thought about suicide and addresses how serious the topic is for her. She also creates emotion because she is so passionate about the topic and really urges the reader to want to do something about this issue. Talking about her struggles with contemplating suicide certainly reaches the audience on an even more personal and emotional level. 

She wrote about the topic at the perfect time because it is extremely relevant. People use social media platforms that she mentioned every single day and this issue is going on as we speak. It is effecting teenagers and as the popularity of social media and technology in society continues to grow, this will only get worse and even more serious. She makes a moral argument because she is concerned about the well-being of the generation. 


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