Year: 2021 Source: Mortality. (2021). Published online 7 October 2021. DOI: 10.1080/13576275.2021.1987668 SIEC No: 20210753

Depictions of death in media produced for young audiences are not limited to melodramas or action films; there are frequent depictions of death in new media, often produced not only for, but also by, young adults. Despite the fact that new media in general, and memes in particular, are standard means of communication and expression for young people, memes about suicide (hereafter suicide-memes) are not thoroughly studied in their own right. This article presents a phenomenological analysis of contemporary suicide-memes. Although suicide-memes seem, on the surface, to be just gallows humour or hyperbole that has little to do with death, we argue that this is deceptive. We contend that suicide-memes are characteristic of what Heidegger calls our everyday, inauthentic relationship with death. This relationship is one of trivialisation and avoidance, which obscures the personal reality, and inevitability, of one’s own death.