I'm not lonely, I have memes: the cognitive (disembodied) experience of depression memes

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Abstract

A long time ago, well before the COVID-19 pandemic, a sad, dark thing clawed its way into our social media feeds: depression memes. These memes, shared on social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, 4chan, and TikTok, date back to as early as 2016, although it’s hard to tell precisely. What we do know is that people (meme makers) have been saying to their audience (users with or without clinical depression and/or anxiety symptoms) that it’s okay to feel horrible and that if our therapist asks ‘What do we do when we feel this way?’ we do not reply ‘Add to cart’. The online world has given us clearance to lift the taboo (slightly) on mental health issues while simultaneously educating some boomers along the way, resulting in many users using memes ever since as the life raft they can be.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical meme reader II
Subtitle of host publicationmemetic tacticality
EditorsChloë Arkenbout, Laurence Scherz
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherInstitute of Network Cultures
Pages140-148
ISBN (Electronic) 9789492302915
ISBN (Print)9789492302908
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameINC reader
PublisherInstitute of Network Cultures
Number#16

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