In Maya Walker’s “To Meme or Not to Meme”, she explores the possibility that memes are more damaging than they are helpful. She presents her argument that memes seem to normalize bad behaviors and as a result people suffer in silence because they are under the impression that their depression is a regular thing. She builds this argument effectively by appealing to the audience’s emotions with the discussion of sensitive subjects as well as urging them to fix their behavior with backup from an authority figure.
As a result of using authority figures such as Ryan M. Milnerand Loughborough University, Walker she builds a trust between the audience and her. This trust will impact how the audience will interpret her message when they finish with her work. They will be more likely to trust Walker’s argument and side with her.
Her argument however, is not only strengthened by her use of ethos but goes deeper to pathos. She creates a significant emotional connection to her audience when she discusses her personal story of how she came to find memes damaging her mental health. By doing this, Walker is able to gain sympathy from others and makes them more likely to believe.
Despite using both ethos and pathos, her work lacks proper evidence that memes are linked to poor mental health. She presents basic blanket statements but no logical data or patterns.
However, her urgency to fix the situation allows the audience to bypass the idea of whether or not this is logical. They have already been drawn in by professionals and emotion that they feel they are able to act quick.
Walker effectively uses appeals to build trust, therefore writing an effective argument, as an argument is only as good as the audience interprets it to be.
On Thanksgiving day in 2007, my dad and I had gone to my aunt and uncle’s house for dinner. As usual, my cousins and my dad decided to play outside while my aunt prepared everything and I joined. The boys played catch with the football. I was not up for playing football so I decided on riding the tricycle. Once the tricycle was out, I took it up on the deck. There wasn’t much room up there but I continued to ride in small circles. Little did I know that I would learn a lesson about how life knocks you down, even when you least expect it.
I continued to ride the tricycle and wait for my family to finish up their catch. One of my cousins decided he wanted to throw the ball as hard as he could at my dad. Here is where things get unfortunate, as my dad missed the ball. This is one of those times where life seems so full of opportunities and then it all shatters. The football hit me dead in the head and I was knocked off of my tricycle. I laid on the deck with the tricycle over me and I cried. I did not move because I was too busy crying in pain and embarrassment. My family felt no remorse for destroying my hope and ambition in life. My father and my cousins howled with laughter at me. They did not make the situation any better as they ran inside to tell everyone else about what had happened.
My uncle and aunt came outside to see what was going on. Upon seeing my little body stretched out under a tricycle, my uncle could not contain himself and did just what my cousins and dad had done. As I cried even more, my aunt picked me up and brought me inside to take care of me. She soothed me by giving me some snacks and she cleaned up my scratches. I felt better and my family had managed to stop laughing every ten seconds. I was still hurt a little from the fall but it felt good to get up and have fun again. I was happier that I wasn’t hurt anymore rather than be upset that I had been hurt.
We sat down around the table to eat, and my dad offered to make my plate. He had asked if I wanted turkey or ham. I requested the ham and waited as my dad put together a plate for me. When he was finished, he put it in front of me and I immediately went for the ham only to find out my aunt had cooked it with an excessive amount of orange zest. To say the least, it tasted awful. I complained as a six-year-old does and was met with a response that I was not too happy to hear.
“You picked ham, you better finish it all.”
Could this day get any worse? I had just started to feel better and my day went downhill again. I ate the ham at the pace of a slug running a marathon. Once I was finished, I realized it was worth it because apparently the turkey tasted even worse as my cousins were still slowly chewing theirs. My aunt placed my pie in front of me and I masked the taste of orange ham with pumpkin. Once again, my inconvenience passed and I was happy that it was over. This day was a series of ups and downs, however it was worth it. My pain felt like it would never end to six-year-old me, but when it did, I understood the ‘beauty of pain’. While my falls felt so much worse than my small wins, I was able to appreciate my wins that much more. Getting knocked down will always be worth it, because standing back up is so gratifying.
Hello, my name is Brittany Zeigler and I’m from Smyrna, Delaware. I’m a mathematics major with a minor in engineering. I enjoy watching holiday movies all the time. I’m really excited for the upcoming holidays because I will have a valid excuse to binge watch loads of movies with my family and friends. If anyone ever has a holiday movie recommendation, I’m all ears!