To Meme or Not to Meme: 300 words

In the essay, To Meme or Not to Meme, by Maya Walker, she touches on subjects involving mental health and how social media plays a role in it. In Walker’s thesis, she talks about how much social media has an impact on mental health. Walker talks about how memes have played a huge part in her life and how they are affecting teenagers and young adults. She goes on to say how she was extremely suicidal during stages in her life and social media impacted her depression for the worse. Many individuals cope with their depression and mental health issues through posting about it online to make light of their situations. It seems to be “funny” to that person but some people could interpret it in another way like Walker did. Walker lists several examples throughout her writing and how inappropriately mental health issues are used on social media platforms. For example, the first meme Walker had encountered that made her start thinking about suicide was of a dog in 2011 with the text saying “Kill Me.” This was inspired by the movie Alien where a creature begs for their life to be taken away. This meme was posted as a joke and is a form of dark humor. These type of memes and “dark humor jokes” are now on all different types of social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These types of posts are so toxic because they are trying to normalize mental health issues. Another example that shows individuals using social media inappropriately was a tweet on Twitter and how it can be used as therapy instead of paying for an actual therapist. This shows how instead of individuals taking care of themselves they are turning to social media for a sense of approval and acceptance. The essay concludes by Walker explaining the importance of forming real relationships with people that can help you cope with mental illness rather than hiding behind a screen and posting about it.

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