Design Proposal

This is a summary of the final presentation (Dec 8th 2015) for the “Design Proposal” module with Anto last semester. (Minus some images)

In the next few blog posts I will talk through all the research that i have looked at to come to this proposal below.

Looking at mental health, in particular self-esteem and how social media can impact it.

The definition of self esteem is confidence in one’s own worth or abilities.

This of course isn’t all linked in with social media and while researching i found that Back in 1976, a study carried out by Wells and Marwell found that discrepancies between how people see themselves, and the idealised way they think they should be, can lead to low self-esteem. So If the person they would like to view themselves as is very different from the reality, this will leave them feeling unfulfilled and low. Source

So of course 40 years ago there was no internet. Today there is however and 40 % of the world now has internet connection. This graph shows the growth in users since the year after i was born so you can see that its went from no users to over 3.3billion (And continually changing)

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 22.36.20.pngOver the last 8 years The use of social media has tripled

Social media for some people acts as a filter from one person to the rest of the world, only showcasing the aspects that they themselves deem worthy of being seen by other people. but from this then there comes issues with the “bad stuff” that are going on in their lives and they have to deal with this on their own. This is why people who use social media can sometimes end up feeling socially isolated

This graph shows that the 18-29 year old category has consistently using social networking sites the most. and the older the age range goes the less usage there was

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 23.10.44.png

After further research i found that young people between the age of 16 – 24 spend more than 27 hours a week on the internet, which is twice as much as 10 years ago, this is mainly fuelled by the increase in acessabilability via smartphones and tablets. Source


So after looking at all these stats i decided that i was going to use the 16-24 age range as my target.

But after looking at research again i found that as you can see in this graph the lower the age goes the lower the persons self esteem is. this was a 14 year study conducted on over 7000 people by erol and orth and it was about the development of self esteem. so then i started thinking that maybe its the younger people that should be the target. Source

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 22.46.26.png

One of the methods of testing that this study used was the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (Test yourself with the generator here)

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 22.47.44.png

In the meantime I had been in contact with the southern trusts neighbourhood renewal health coordinator and found out information on all of the programmes which were dealing with mental health and got a lot of information with her.

I then went and talked to the manager of the niamh louise foundation. the conversation with her was really interesting. now this charity was set up for suicide prevention and support for families who were bereaved by suicide. so they deal with a huge range of people with mental health issues, with ages starting as young as 5. the also work in conjunction with life line. I talked to the manager Grainne in particular about what she has seen with self esteem in teenagers and she said that in the 11-13 year old age range its a massive problem.

At this age the child is trying to find out who they are at a person, their hitting puberty, their changing from primary to secondary school its a huge upheaval with a whole new way of doing things and a whole new group of people. so in the middle of trying to find out who they are their thrown into using the internet more and social media sites and on those platforms their seeing how other people look and what their doing and this can lead to low self esteem.

Some of you may have heard of Essena O’Neill she is a 19year old australian, instagram celebrity that has quit social media. this happened around halloween this year. And what she done was delete most of the platforms that she used completely. She also went back over some of her photos (shown below) and changed the captions stating what was really going on. she’s made numerous videos on the topic and says I DON’T DO REAL LIFE WELL AT ALL. I SUCCEEDED AT ONLINE LIFE ONLY. TURNS OUT THEY ARE NOT THE SAME

In one of her videos she states that the videos are for her 12 year old self saying”When i was 12 i told myself i meant nothing that i was worthy of nothing,  i wasn’t popular, i wasn’t a model, i wasn’t beautiful by societies standards.” she goes on to say that culture creates validation and insecurities based on likes and views that we receive and we desire social approval and Base our self worth on other peoples edited highlights.

So to summarise I want to deliver an education programme or learning materials or something to deal with self esteem and promote self worth and positivity. There are programmes out there at the minute but because its a fairly new topic everyone is taking different strategies, graine said it could possibly be another 20 years before people realise how bad social media is for self esteem much like smoking was 50/60 years ago.

The target age is 11-13 because self esteem is a massive issue at that age and they are more vulnerable.

Potential customers or funding could come from the health board, the education board, parents and also within local communities such as the GAA clubs.


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