IGNITE workshop: Mental health and the pressures of social media

Jan 30, 2020 | News

Elesha Nicholls

Students participate in mental health in the digital age workshop at Humber College. By Elesha Nicholls on Jan 30, 2020.

Many thought that the birth of social media would make the world a smaller place and help link people from all over to one another thanks to their phones. 

For some, the reality is that social media has turned into a beast that’s hard to tame. How does one live their life authentically and to the best of their ability when they see people who look just like them surpassing them in life?  

The negative impact of social media pressure prompted IGNITE to host a workshop that would help students learn how to positively cope with the changes and social anxiety that life tends to throw their way. 

“Our job is to help students in every way we can. It can be very easy to get lost in negativity and feel overwhelmed. We truly want students to be the best version of themselves and remember the importance of putting yourself first” said vice president of IGNITE Guelph Humber, Megan Roopnarine.

The Mental Health in the Digital Age workshop was facilitated by activist, writer, TED speaker, and social entrepreneur, Katie Zeppieri. During the workshop, Zeppieri discussed her social anxieties and how she’s managed to balance being an entrepreneur along with her social life.  

One of the main aspects of the workshop was focusing on what students really want out of the new year by writing down goals and concrete action that would be taken to accomplish said goals. Zeppieri also encouraged positive health habits and asked students to focus on what they considered were the negative forces holding them back, which could include social media or relationships. 

Katie Zeppieri facilitates a mental health workshop at Humber College. By Elesha Nicholls on Jan 30, 2020.

“With our access to technology and information, we are really in a state of ‘overwhelment’. We are constantly being bombarded with notifications and things vying for our attention and this is making it even more confusing for young people today to navigate, build structure for their life and find purpose.” said Zeppieri.

During the workshop Zeppieri also offered insightful tips and tools that could help students get on track with apps like Trello and Google calendar that allow more focus on day to day activities and things that matter. 

“’We need to recognize that if we’re going to thrive and balance our mental health and anxiety we actually need to be building structure for ourselves it’s not just going to happen on our own” said Zeppieri.