Is Social Media Causing Depression In Our Youth


By Dylan Boilen and Matthew Friedman


1. Media Artifact

2. Persona and POV statement

Persona name: Nolan Douglous


Age: 18


School/occupation: Communication major, University of Michigan


Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan


Quote: “It is discipline to not let social media steal your time.”



-Coming from the South Side of Detroit in a family of 3 brothers and 3 sisters, Nolan did not receive much attention and thus grew up as an independent child. He worked extremely hard in pursuing his education and was granted a full scholarship to the University of Michigan.

-In highschool he devoted a majority of his free time to the creation of his own app that scans social media platforms for harmful comments on posts and makes them censored meaning that the user would have to confirm they wanted to see the potentially harmful comment.



-Keep up grades in college in order to maintain his scholarship

-Now that his first app was a decent success, he wants to pursue the creation of another app that will further his positive impact in the social media industry.  

-Secure funding for his app visions that will allow him to gain ability for advertising for his app and have an even larger impact on the adolescent generation. ‘


POV statement:


Nolan Douglous is embarking on his freshman year in college and is super energetic about his new opportunities, primarily in terms of networking opportunities and ways to get even more involved in the social media industry. He is not sure of what he plans to do post undergrad. He ponders going to get his masters in education or possibly staying on the tech side of things and continuing the devotion towards app creation and advocation for the dangerous of social media. However, in the summer before his freshman year, Nolan started experiencing bouts of anxiety and depression, of which the origin is unknown. Despite struggling this summer, he is still preparing enter and his social media activity levels have never been higher.


3. Potential Solutions:

Solution number 1: Igniting the right passion for social media


Current problem: Social media dominates the daily routines of adolescents across the world. These adolescents, however, have the tendency to utilize social media as an outlet for all of their problems and insecurities, rather than as the inviting networking platform that it is. Adolescent reliance on social media as a necessary crutch has only caused for further suppression of the pressing issues that they are faced with on a daily basis. 


Solution: Reform adolescent passion for social media. Reintroduce social media to teens like they have never heard of it before. In this introduction, explain, for the get-go, everything that social media is not used for. Have the kids recreate all of their accounts, with new profile pictures and new information With the elimination of the old accounts, the adolescents will have an opportunity to engage in a fresh start. Yet, in spite of deleting the old account, it would be beneficial for the adolescents to identify the positive aspects of the prior social media use. After identifying the “good,” adolescents should be encouraged to approach the next chapter of their social-media-using lives focused on those positive things. Everytime adolescents engage in social media use going forward, their mindset should be focused on building and maintaining relationships, allowing others to stay involved in one’s life, and using social media to better one’s personal prosperity. Everytime that an adolescent finds themselves scrolling through the profiles of others, enviously immersing themselves in their lives, they must be reminded that they are not using social media for that purpose. We think that the various social media platforms should collaborate and find a way to brand this new approach to social media so that the users can be reminded every time they use it. 


Solution 2: Educate adolescents on how to properly use social media to gain benefit, rather than detriment in the pursuit of such platforms. Adolescents must learn how to steer away from passing on hate or letting hate impact them. 

  • Current problem: People often use social media for the wrong purpose. They use it to look at other people, picking out their flaws and criticizing them… while also, criticizing themselves. 

  • By educating students on how to properly use social media, they will be deviated from being around hate, and rather gain an education in the process their pursuit of social media. 

  • Students will be educated by providing them with methods to internalize negative comments and use them as ways to learn. A key aspect to this would be ensuring that students understand how to have a growth mindset. This means that students must learn to use negative feedback and turn it into education by finding ways to improve their own actions. 

  • Another means of education would be providing adolescents with sufficient resources that would allow them to be less exposed to harmful comments and aspects of social media. Resources like this will be provided, helping to prevent teens from being emotionally damaged.

  • The final aspect of educating adolescents would be teaching them how to extract the positive in social media. Social media platforms were created for their positive use, primarily the ability to communicate with numerous people from miles away. This will be emphasized upon educating the adolescents. 

Solution 3: Empower adolescents to use the tools they have been provided with to safely navigate social media, and encourage others to do so via the pursuit of positivity.

  • Current Problem: Students understand the negative impacts of social media but are not driven to change their actions, as they fear judgement from their peers.

  • Aftering educating adolescents on how to properly use social media, they must be empowered to be model social media users. It is going to take a substantial effort for all adolescents to jump on the new wave of social media, yet a concerted effort not only by the educators, but also, by informed teens could foster more vast change. The new adolescent social media user can serve as ambassadors to social media companies. 

  • It is essential that adolescents have the right state of mind upon pursuing the surfing of social media so that they can use the positive education to prevent hurting themselves and others. 

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Total votes: 6