While we're already aware of the negative effects social media has on our mental health, we weren't ready to accept that our beloved memes can be just as bad for us.
Researchers in the UK are issuing a warning that your fave memes can affect your mental and physical health.
In a written statement to the UK parliament, they warned that memes can “normalize undesirable behaviors such as trolling, body shaming and bullying, and a lack of emotion may be indicative of a larger apathy with regards to such practice.”
They've also warned that memes are a contributing factor to teenage obesity, by making light of unhealthy eating. In an interview with The Telegraph, researcher Dr. Ashley Casey explained that memes can create validation for habits that are usually shunned by society.
“Basically it is unacceptable for you and I to have a conversation saying I just ate a whole chocolate cake,” Casey said. “But if someone puts a meme up about it then I can say ‘that’s normal and that’s okay, that’s how I feel and that’s almost how I behave.”
“Internet memes are generally viewed as entertaining but they also represent a body of cultural practice that does not account for the specific needs and rights of teenagers,” they continued.
Yikes. This isn't the news we needed!