Don’t let the memes get you down

Internet trends are always changing. The best memes too evolve and are shared across both social media and real-life platforms.

A meme, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.” This could be anything from “salt bae” to Spongebob on the internet.

One of the most worrying trends I’ve noticed over the past few months observing social media are image macros that self-deprecate. I see my friends sharing pictures of trash cans with the caption “this is me” and similar. On Reddit, there’s a plethora of memes that express suicidal thoughts that get tons of attention and agreement.

There was a point in my life where I would laugh along with these memes frequently. I thought that they were funny. What was the harm in laughing over something I didn’t actually think about myself? I could call myself trash and not feel that way truly.

But then I noticed, the more I surrounded myself with negativity such as the words in these memes and jokes, the more I would notice the negative things about the world, myself, and others.

I was quick to point out mistakes made everywhere, or focus on terrible happenings everywhere around me, be it the news or my own school work. The more I normalized the negative jokes, the more I normalized negativity in my own life.

The self-deprecating humor began to materialize in facets of my mental state that affect everything I do and say.

To escape the stress of life, I would go home and consume negative jokes and memes that, in the long run, weren’t doing anything to make me happy.

It wasn’t until I started making more of an effort to consume more positive media did I notice that I began to be more positive myself. It’s still ok to laugh at more negative jokes, but take a step back and look at your own thoughts.

If you’re like me and are becoming more and more negative and maybe relating a little too much to self-deprecating humor, it might be time to evaluate your own mental health and take the steps to be as happy as possible.

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