Memes and why I think they work

Memes are a typical feature of the internet. They show that humor becomes very ironical when it’s formed by billions of people at the same time. The most important thing when it comes to memes in my opinion, is that they are most of the time very relatable. The fact that most memes today are about something people recognize makes them very succesful in terms of them being liked, shared and commented on. I think these memes even work as a sort of therapy sometimes. I come across a lot of memes that are about social anxiety, anxiety in general and stress. I think the fact that these memes show a high number of likes shows people that they are not alone when they are dealing with anxiety or stress. It makes it more normal and less weird. It also makes people share things they normaly wouldn’t because they are afraid to be seen as weird or weak.

This is an example of a meme that shows how the one that posts this meme suffers from social anxiety or at least shyness. The meme portays a picture of how someone is unable to respond like expected when someone asks him or her how they are doing. This could be something that one thinks to be very weird but when they see this meme they see that it is actually more common than expected.

It is only logical that when someone sees that something is more common it allivates the shame about it. This is often one of the most hurting factors of anxiety and other mental issues. I personally think that memes can help do away with taboos because they have such a high reach nowadays. If a meme account woth a lot of followers posts a meme about a form of anxiety and makes it ‘normal’ it can decrease the level of stigma anxiety has.

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1 Comment

  • IsottaT
    Posted November 18, 2019 at 1:30 pm 0Likes

    Hi! Some time ago a read an article (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/15/opinion/sunday/why-are-you-laughing.html) trying to use Google data to make sense of when we look for jokes on the internet. In the article, the journalist tries to understand if we look for jokes when we’re happy or when we’re sad. I actually found the article to be quite inconclusive despite the wide research done for it.
    I personally don’t know anyone who would look for jokes on the internet but I know plenty of people who search for memes (and I don’t even think it’s too much of a generational thing). So if for the sake of this comment we understand traditional jokes and memes as being equivalent I don’t think we should look for patterns in Google searches and the users’ mood. I agree with you when you say that the secret behind memes’ popularity is that they’re relatable.

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