Untangling social media and depression in teenagers

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Quinter, Olivia
Vanmeter-Brown, Rebecca
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Thesis (B.?)
Honors College
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With technology becoming more and more prevalent globally, social media is becoming more prominent every day. Consequently, the rates of in older teen girls being admitted to hospitals for self-harm and suicide have gone up 189% and 151% respectively and in preteen girls and 62% and 70% respectively since 2011 (Orlowski, 2020). This raises the question, what is this doing to the mental health of teenagers? Psychological suffering is not abnormal; a disease or syndrome driven by unusual pathological processes, it is an inherent part of the human experience (Harris, 2006). However, teens of the last decade seem to be exponential negatively impacted with psychological suffering. Specifically, research on topics of the negative impacts of social media and depression are discussed. To address the concern that our teens are being severely negatively impacted, I propose a mindfulness tool, the Self-Coaching Model, to help teens reflect on the impact of social media. This tool should help teens to understand that while they are not in control of what others do, they are in control of how they feel, and as a result reduce the impact and influence the circumstances have on their well-being and mental health.