Over the past few months, a new addiction has gripped campus, plunging countless Illini into the depths of sleeplessness and destructivity: meme addiction. The McKinley Health Center staff has finally taken notice.
“Meme addiction is particularly harmful because of its accessibility,” explained Larry Bloom, head researcher of the McKinley Meme Division. “Any student with an internet connection can find themselves on one of thousands of web pages dedicated to memes in virtually no time.”
The symptoms of the addiction takes a huge toll on those affected according to Bloom.
“This addiction severely lowers the attention span of those afflicted,” Bloom continued. “Memes are consumed in seconds, which rapidly gratifies pleasure centers in the brain. Perhaps most frightening is that repeated viewing can rewire the brain completely, and the effects are irreversible. We have seen a few cases where the patient was dependent on memes and memes alone for sustenance.”
Interestingly, the excessive amount of niche engineering memes has led to a concentrated rise in addiction in the engineering community students see on the Facebook page “UIUC Memes For Underfunded Teens. For a more personal account, we reached out to Lisa Livingston, a senior mechanical engineer at UIUC and recovering meme addict.
“It’s been tough. After finding UIUC’s meme page and becoming addicted to memes about STEM diagrams captioned ‘ECE reacts only,’ I’ve had to distance myself from all technology,” Livingston said. “Just a single letter of Impact font can cause me to relapse.”
McKinley Health Center encourages students to seek help immediately, but to be prepared for an inevitable misdiagnosis.