Mental Health in Memes: A Review on To Meme or Not to Meme

Maya Walker wrote “To Meme or Not to Meme”, an article calling attention to dark humor in memes. It discusses how memes normalize mental health issues and results in the inability to recognize serious cries for help. Overall, Walker successfully utilized various rhetorical strategies to build a strong, well developed argument. She begins her essay by appealing to pathos in telling her previous struggles with depression. Once the audience’s attention is captured, Walker gives some background on memes as a whole and then the dark humor memes that her article focuses on. She uses various credible sources, such as universities, while also adding in screenshots of the type of social media accounts she is talking about. This consistent flow of information and explanation appeals to ethos. Additionally, Walker’s diction is noticeably formal when explaining her sources. This begins to add on to the ethos that she has already established, however her diction begins to turn into a less formal one as the article goes on. This in turn makes her lose a bit of credibility, but it doesn’t take enough away from her previous successes for the article to be successful as a whole. The most notable rhetoric device is the appeal to kairos. Walker chose a topic that was relevant to Generation Z, and it most likely will remain relevant for future generations as well. “To Meme or Not to Meme” has many elements necessary to make a clear, strong argument. It utilizes an appeal to ethos, logos, pathos, and kairos in such a way that, even if the audience does not agree with the author’s opinion, they can come to terms with the author’s validity as a writer.

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