Recently in my college we were asked to come up with design solutions for various problems that the teenagers could relate to. My group and I came up with the topic “Over exposure to Social Media” with a simple thought (which we thought was funny) “This is why teens nowadays are so damn stupid/wannabe”. As we started researching, reading journal articles, seeking real life examples and taking surveys, we realized that this in fact is not funny at all and is a serious matter concerning the youth.
The results that we came across were more sad than shocking.People are bullied and body-shamed (some people are even nerd-shamed). Cyber bullying in many cases has even led to suicides.
They take part in harmful social media challenges just for 5 minutes of fame, their self-worth is highly dependent on the number of likes/views they get.
Another one of the lesser known problems faced include ‘glorification of mental illnesses’. The fashionable portrayal of mental illnesses on social media has made it appealing to people who even desire a mental health disorder because of its trendiness. It often becomes more of an aesthetic than an actual problem. This adds to confusion and misconstrued ideas about mental illness, leading to people not understanding those with actual mental health illnesses.
After coming up with various ideas for solutions we realized ‘What could be a better platform to spread awareness about social media than the internet itself! ‘and we came up with the answer of making videos (that can be pitched to various already existing YouTube channels with large fan bases). Instead of making the videos a serious one (which many teenagers choose to avoid or ignore) we took inspiration from famous YouTube channels in India and from the response they get and we decided to make it humorous so that it appeals to our audience and still leaves a message.
Here are the links to two of the video solutions that we came up with. We hope that you enjoy them and they spread the message.