Why has JUUL Attracted so Many Adolescents?

Chances are, you’ve heard of JUUL. Like any phenomenon and trend, the word itself may cause an immediate response: recognition, mocking, maybe even confusion. But like any phenomenon or trends, especially one that’s mostly popular with teenagers and young adults, everyone has an opinion on them.

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Apps Monitoring Mental Health

Studies may differ when reporting just how many teenagers and young adults use smartphones – some list 89%, others say 95% – but it goes without saying that it’s almost impossible to see one without a phone in their hand or close to them. As the number of youths using smartphones increases, just like the number of youths being diagnosed with mental illnesses, some researchers are trying to see if one can help the other.

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Navigating Social Media in the New Year

There are always common types of resolutions that are made as the new year begins. One such resolution is to use social media less (ironically, you may have seen someone say this on social media). Going through social media cleanses and detoxes can give people the time to explore other sorts of activities, and taking a step back from social media can have a positive impact on mental health. Because it’s the new year, now is a great opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate your social media habits, possibly even trying to change them throughout the year. Continue reading Navigating Social Media in the New Year

The Social Aspect of Online Gaming

Video games have become much more interactive than they used to be. If you wanted to play with others, they would have to physically be there, with up to four players sharing the same console connected to the TV, each having their own controller. Two people with Game Boys could connect to each other using a cable, and some games allowed them to play against each other that way. Looking back, all of it seems a bit excessive, especially now that we can connect to anyone around the world in an instant with a simple Internet connection.

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Multiple Selves, LGBTQ+ Youths, and Social Media


The variety of social media platforms, the kind of content they show, and who uses them allows people to wear different “masks” depending on what site or app they go on. Facebook has become more family-dominated, so many teenagers feel like they need to filter themselves so their parents, grandparents, and other extended family don’t see everything. Meanwhile, teens may use Instagram to present a seemingly perfect and aesthetic lifestyle to their peers (finstas, on the other hand, make teens feel like they can show their “true selves”).

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Instagram Invites

Using the internet to send invitations have come a long way since the earlier days of social media. The original “Evite” dates back to 1998 and can still be used, where flashy animations describing the event are sent in bulk to the guest list. Paperless Post is a little more formal and has the opportunity for customization. And then there’s always Facebook Events, where organizations, families, and individuals can publicly or privately invite a small group of friends to everyone to whatever they have planned.

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Social Media and Its Unhealthy Daily Influence

The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.

Social media is so common nowadays that almost anyone you talk to who has access to a phone or computer has an account of some sort. Social media is not just Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, however, as it takes many forms. For example, email could be considered social media. Google+, LinkedIn, and any other form of an online communication hub is considered  to be social media. Technology has advanced enough to the point of no return. Gone are the days of physical mail and traditional phone calls, as our fast-moving society has fully adapted to the ease and convenience of internet use.

In retrospect, that all sounds great. Social media has made life considerably easier for many individuals and professions. However, it has also made life arguably worse for those same people. Quick and easy methods of communication are great when you’re in a bind, but it has also made face-to-face communication virtually extinct in some cases. Oral communication skills are imperative to living confidently and successfully, no matter what profession you are in. Social media takes away that necessary face-to-face contact, and significantly impedes on individuals’ social lives.

In addition to the decrease in physical human interaction, social media can trigger feelings of longing and jealousy. While most online sharing platforms are meant to be a communal space to share life experiences, people often find themselves longing for what others have. It often becomes a game of who has more to brag about. Instead of being content with your own life, it is easy to find yourself yearning for the life of another.

Humans are social creatures by nature, and human interaction is imperative for the mental well-being of anyone. But what if an individual with social anxiety interacts mostly online? Social media can be good…in moderation. I personally love to see what my friends are up to when I’m unable to see them for extended periods of time. However, when I start to notice it take over my life for a while, or hinder my social life, I made a concerted effort to pull myself away from the screen and find something decidedly more meaningful to do. For example, recently I have been flooded with stress because of my impending graduation. I often find myself flocking to social media for relaxation and comfort, in a strange way. So, to combat that, I have been pushing myself to read more or spending more time with my family when I am stressed. Pulling myself away from a platform that stresses me out even more in the long run has significantly improved my coping abilities, and subsequent happiness.

As mentioned, social media can be good in moderation. But if you find yourself needing time away from it, please take that step. Figure out what is best for your mental wellbeing and act on it. Social media is temporary, as is the joy it can bring. I challenge you to go out of your comfort zone and find joy in something else. No matter what the season, I can always find joy in nature. Find your happiness.

What do you consider to be spending “too much” time on social media? Do you find yourself spending too much time? What about your child?

Current Habits in Social Media

Yesterday, the Pew Research Center published a new report about teenagers and how they use social media. It can feel like these sorts of reports and the stories that follow can occur way too often (and they kind of do), but they can cover a variety of topics about adolescents and social media, from popular apps to mental health to what kind of content that people prefer to post. These frequent reports can also make sense when considering just how fast technology and social media are, with trends, memes, and viral content changing all the time.

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Monitoring Time on Instagram

There’s no doubt about it, Instagram is incredibly popular. As one of the most frequently used sites among adolescents, it’s easy to get sucked into the endless photos and videos, as well as the various accounts of friends, peers, celebrities, and influencers. This isn’t even considering the Instagram Stories, Instagram TV, and direct messaging. Basically, Instagram can waste a lot of time.

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