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Memes have served as sources of solace for young people during the pandemic.

Oct 26 2021

Memes have served as sources of solace for young people during the pandemic. In a survey of more than 700 people analyzing whether consuming memes related to COVID-19 has helped ease people’s minds during this time of crisis, a new study published by the American Psychological Association found the latter to be true as respondents noted viewing funny/cute memes helped lower their stress levels and made them feel more confident about facing the pandemic. Researcher Jessica Gall Myrick worked with two other researchers on the survey after noticing the positive effect that consuming lighthearted memes had on her mental health, and explains the relational power behind memes: “Because we’re isolated, when you see a meme about COVID and it reflects something about our experiences, it’s really powerful because you don’t get to have as much interpersonal interaction with people.” One key takeaway from their research is that memes about Coronavirus helped people process stressful news without getting overwhelmed by it, though researchers note that more investigation is needed to confirm any therapeutic effects that memes can have on one’s mental health. YPulse research found that 52% of Gen Z and 37% of Millennials have been using social media as a coping mechanism, likely stemming from increased feelings of loneliness during the pandemic and a craving for connection. (The Washington Post)