MEDIA FOR MENTAL HEALTH: HOW CAN SOCIAL MEDIA POSITIVELY IMPACT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF TEENAGERS?

INTRODUCTION


CONTEXT

As the use of technology, video games, and social media expands in our increasingly technologically based world, there have been clear psychological effects. Relatively, social media is new, however, psychological impacts are already being seen and pointed out. Social media and technology use has been connected to a variety of mental health disorders, such as social anxiety disorders, depression, eating disorders, sleep disorders, and others. These mental health issues can have serious effects on youth and their development, which is why it is so important for social media to be used in a positive way to prevent the formation of these severe disorders.


WHY SOCIAL MEDIA?

The reach of social media is wide because of its popular use among all ages and locations. This specific issue is in regards to teenagers, however, mental health is influenced by the media regardless of how old people are. Social media and its influence is not only a local problem but also a global issue considering its boundless use. Every act of kindness is influential on social media platforms, no matter how big or small. This unfortunately is also the case with negative acts, which is why it is so important to keep all words of hatred off social media as much as possible.

RESPONSE

Because of this pressing issue, I decided a viable response would be to create a social media page dedicated to spreading positive messages on media platforms. These positive messages are meant for anyone who may be struggling and in need of support, no matter the amount. Although the page is very small now, the hope is that it will continue to grow, and reach a greater audience to have an even larger impact! This response has the capability to become very influential because the potential audience is extremely large. Since it is on Instagram, it not only can be shared with the people in my local community but my message can be spread to people all across the world due to the accessibility to the public. Because of this widespread capability, not only teenagers can be influenced but all people active on these platforms can be as well. (Check it out if interested! ; ) ) So far, the feedback on this page has been extremely helpful, and you will have the opportunity to interact as well later on! (Can’t wait to hear your ideas and advice!!)


THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK/TYPE:

Imagine you spilled coffee on your carpet. Do you think if you tried you would be able to get all the coffee back in the mug? You may be able to get a few drops back, but by the time it hits the carpet, it’s far too late. Now, you may think this has no connection to social media and mental health, but it does. When someone posts something and another person sees it (whether negative or positive), it is impossible to get someone to erase that image from their mind. The words you speak can’t jump back into your mouth, just like your mug cant soak up the coffee stain from your carpet. Remember, thinking before you speak may make a bigger difference than you think!


MAKE AN IMPACT

Your voice matters! Below are two simple ways that you can make a difference.

CONCLUSION

Whether it be on instagram, snapchat, twitter, or any other media platform, your voice matters. My hope is that after exploring my project and response, everyone can try to be more mindful of what they are putting on the internet. Remember that your words are influential, so always try to use them for the better!


Interact!

Below, use the button to join the padlet discussion! I can’t wait to hear all of your ideas! : )

I would love your feedback on my project! Feel free to leave me a comment or start a discussion below! If you have an idea or a personal story you would like to share, I would love to hear it. Again, thank you for interacting with my page, and below you can find my resources consulted and cited. <3


22 Comments

22 comments

  1. Alexa_210

    Hey Layla! I love your project, it was very informal! My favorite part of the project was seeing your response, including Instagram! A question to start a discussion is do you feel social media being so stigmatized regarding mental health has affected YOU specifically, and others around you?

    Great job again!
    -Alexa M.

    1. Layla

      Hey Alexa! I’m so glad you enjoyed my project! I have definitely seen the effects of social media firsthand, and it’s not always positive. I know a lot of people who have struggled with body image which has led to a variety of not-so-healthy coping mechanisms. I think this just further proves how significant social media impact can be.
      Are there any stories you’d be willing to share regarding social media and its effects?

      Thanks for the comment!
      -Layla

  2. Avatar

    Hi Layla! Incredible job! I felt like you were addressing close friends which made your presentation so inviting and inclusive. Also, great idea to create a insta page. In our abnormal psych class, we talked about how social media is can be thought of like a hammer, it is a tool to create and deconstruct, and I thought your page beautifully connected to that idea.

    1. Layla

      Hey Rosemary! Thank you so much I really appreciate it. I think that is such a great analogy and it’s definitely so relevant!

  3. Avatar

    Hi Layla! I really enjoyed looking at your presentation, it was very interesting to learn about how impactful positive social media messages can be. I loved how you created an instagram page for your project because it has the potential to last even after this course is over and reach lots of people. Have you found that using social media in a positive way has impacted your mental health, how so?

    1. Layla

      Hey Vivian! It’s definitely always great to see positive messages on social media just to remind me that not everything is portrayed as it is in real life. I think positivity is such an easy and effective way to influence people for the better. Have you seen positivity affect your mental health on social media?
      -Layla

  4. Zoe_510

    Hey Layla! Your project is so amazing. You chose a really interesting and important topic. I love your idea of an instagram page so much and I have followed it on instagram. I really love the idea of creating an instagram page, I can’t wait to see all these positive and uplifting quotes on my feed!

    1. Layla

      Thanks Zoe!

  5. Avatar

    Love it!!!

    1. Layla

      <3

  6. Avery

    Good job on your project. My favorite part was the instagram account you made. Hopefully the viewers of your project will help that account grow. My question for you is how has positivity you have seen on your social media platforms made a difference on your mental health?

    1. Layla

      Hey Avery! Seeing positivity on social media is always very uplifting. It’s great to see reminders that social media isn’t reality. How has positivity on social media affected you?
      -Layla

  7. Avatar

    Hi Layla! Great project, it was very informative and easy to follow. It’s seeming easy to create a positive environment yet social media can still be so toxic. I think you make a great point about how easily we can be consumed in social media or affected by a constant flow of negative images. I love that you are actively making change through your positive Instagram account. I wonder how contributing to promoting positivity for others will impact your mentality on self-image and self-esteem.

    1. Layla

      Hey Namara! I really appreciate your comment it means a lot! I actually wonder the same thing and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out!

  8. Avatar

    Hi Layla,
    I love your project and I thought you did a great job with it! It is interesting because a lot of the projects in this conference are about how social media affects your mental health but I love how you are turning this problem into a solution!

    1. Layla

      Thank you so much Caitlin!

  9. Anneliese Foltz

    Hey Layla! Great work, I really enjoyed learning about your topic. I think your positive take on social media was a refreshing read and the helpful resources you provided were comforting! The instagram page you shared was a great addition and I’m excited to see the positive messages on my feed in the future. My question for you is, did this research process change your perception on social media? if so, how?

  10. Anneliese

    Hey Layla! Great work, I really enjoyed learning about your topic. I think your positive take on social media was a refreshing read and the helpful resources you provided were comforting! The instagram page you shared was a great addition and I’m excited to see the positive messages on my feed in the future. My question for you is, did this research process change your perception on social media? if so, how?

  11. Kate_227

    Hey Layla! I really was drawn to your page because I did a similar topic for my Catalyst project. I simply discussed the negatives of social media and what could be done to spread awareness for mental illness. It was great getting more information on the other side of the story. I also found the padlet very useful. Great work!

    1. Layla

      Thanks Kate!

  12. Avatar

    Layla! Really powerful stuff. From the design to the content, great going! Lots of learning and awesome use of your voice and thinking.

    1. Layla

      Thank you so much!

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