Look at it it’s got anxiety (our interpretation)
This article will highlight a tweet that later became a meme and got very popular in early 2016, it teased the existence of mankind using short back and forth conversation between God and his angels. We will look at how millennials and Gen Z use memes and humor to deal with mental health issues.
We will try to shine a light on different ways of emotional expression using memes and will try and understand the link between anxiety and the social media era. Lastly, we will look at a few FAQs to get a better understanding on the topic.
“Look at it, it’s got anxiety”
In late October 2015, a meme was posted in the form of a tweet and gained popularity in early January 2016, it mainly tried to explain the existence of the human race, based on a hypothetical conversation between God and his angels. This tweet read,
God: I made mankind
Angels: You f*cked up a perfectly good monkey is what you did. Look at it, it’s got anxiety.
Since then many others have taken this tweet and made their own, trying to explain a concept or individual using this meme format.
Humans are anxious creatures, obviously not everyone but according to the tweet they are. This could because as technology increases, we as a human race are also trying to catch up to it.
Lately, there is a major increase in the usage of memes by the current generations, as a way to communicate about complex issues in an easier manner to understand.
Humour is used to cope with depression and anxiety. And memes meet that criteria of humor that people are looking for. People with anxiety usually struggle to express or control their emotions. And these people are the ones who usually share such memes with others who might be going through the same emotions.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. However, when a person regularly feels disproportionate levels of anxiety, it might become a medical disorder. Anxiety disorders form a category of mental health diagnoses that lead to excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry.
People with anxiety frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Anxiety felt at an extreme, for a period of six months and a disturbance in everyday work is diagnosed as an anxiety disorder.
The symptoms of anxiety
The common anxiety symptoms and signs are:
- Experiencing fatigue
- Difficulty in concentrating and keeping the focus
- Feeling very restless, unable to sit still
- Feeling very irritated and angry
- Muscles are very tense
- Trouble in falling asleep and staying asleep
- Avoid social situations
- Holding irrational fears
- Feel frustrated, at edge, or agitated
- Worry too much about little things
- Experience panic attacks
What is a meme?
The original “meme” became a term coined by Richard Dawkins to explain how
cultural information spreads. However, unless you’re wandering through the halls of the sociology school, when a person mentions the word “meme,”
they’re probable regarding a funny photo or a video being shared on social media. The common use of the word “meme,” generally refers to the “internet meme,” a subset of the general meme concept.
Memes are a bit like an inner joke that is shared with the rest of the internet. People can share experiences, opinions, and emotions effortlessly by the use of a picture that has a funny or relatable caption.
While memes are generally light-hearted, many social media websites and forums are increasingly playing host to groups that are sharing so-called depressive or anxious memes – memes that are about death, suicide, isolation, or hopelessness.
Although some might find these memes disturbing, many researchers have found out that people with anxiety genuinely choose memes that relate to their experiences with mental health more.
This might be because people with anxiety certainly use humor in a different way to deal or cope with such situations, partly because of the unique way someone with anxiety controls their negative emotions.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Emotional expressions using memes
Anxiety can often make socializing difficult, as key symptoms can include feeling restless, nervous, or tense, some may feel weak and tired, increase in heart rate, trouble concentrating, etc.
With memes, anxious people can share their experiences in a simple way – possibly even allowing people to form socially supportive and emotional bonds with others who suffer from anxiety. It might also help them feel less alone in their experience with anxiety.
Anxiety memes have received a bad reputation for promoting mental health problems. However, research shows that for those experiencing such issues, it can actually have the opposite effect. These memes can destigmatize anxiety for those who have it and help them feel a sense of community.
Millennials, Gen Z using memes as a coping mechanism
Memes are being used to communicate serious issues, for example with recent events like the spread of the coronavirus or the presidential election and even the Black Lives Matter movement, many teenagers and young adults have taken a different view to understand such complex issues, and as to how this generation learns about and processes world events.
It is no shock that Gen Z and millennials get their news via memes through Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, etc, as a result, there is a huge generation gap between how the older generation learned about such events compared to the current generation.
People have noticed that the current generation uses memes to express and channel all kinds of emotions, including fear and anxiety. Sometimes it is harmless humor but if it crosses an ethical line, memes can risk spreading both misinformation and racist attitudes.
Humour is often a way of coping with something we cannot control, and hence memes have become a defense mechanism for this generation of young adults.
Anxiety in the social media era
With the increase in technology, social media plays a huge role in everyone’s life. People want to know more, see more, and they want to be involved as much as possible.
Fomo which is a trendy new acronym used to express the “fear of missing out”, it’s usually concerned with the feeling of anxiety, that an interesting and exciting event might be happening somewhere else, and that the individual may be missing out. This arousal of anxiety often happens by seeing someone’s post on social media.
Media plays a huge influence on people’s lives, sometimes every aspect of a person’s life depends on how others might view it online. Many times people change their entire lifestyle to meet social media exceptions, only to show judgmental nosy people that they got everything together.
Children of this generation are growing up on social media, they build their entire life around it, this could cause a lot of mental health issues in the future.
For example, girls growing up looking at “Instagram models”, may have a bad influence on their self-esteem.
Not being able to live up to the social media exceptions or lifestyle can make people feel very anxious, as they might dedicate their entire time and life to reaching those goals, instead of focusing on real-life issues.
FAQs: “Look at it, it’s got anxiety”
How does anxiety make you feel?
Anxiety makes your body go on high alert, looking for possible danger and activating your fight or flight responses. As a result, some common symptoms of anxiety include: nervousness, restlessness, or being tense. feelings of danger, panic, or dread.
Can anxiety make you feel ill?
Many people may not associate anxiety with feeling sick, but often it can make a person feel sick to their stomach, or make them feel nauseous, or they may find that they get sick more often because their anxiety weakens their immune responses.
Why is social anxiety so common now?
Social phobia is a mental health condition. It is an intense, persistent fear of being watched and judged by others. This fear can affect work, school, and your other day-to-day activities. It can even make it hard to make and keep friends. It is important to seek professional help if the problem becomes more than you can handle.
Why is FOMO bad?
Studies show that FOMO leads to extreme dissatisfaction and has a detrimental effect on our physical and mental health – mood swings, loneliness, feelings of inferiority, reduced self-esteem, extreme social anxiety, and increased levels of negativity and depression.
What does a meme mean?
A meme is a concept or behavior that spreads from person to person. Examples of memes include beliefs, fashions, stories, and phrases. Memes that are propagated online are called “Internet memes.”
In this article, we highlighted a tweet that later became a meme and got very popular in early 2016, which teased the existence of mankind using short back and forth conversation between God and his angels. We Looked at how millennials and Gen Z use memes and humor to deal with mental health issues.
We even tried to shine a light on different ways of emotional expression using memes, and also understood the link between anxiety and the social media era.
If you have any questions about anxiety, feel free to reach out to us.