Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
This creative project is an investigation into the feasibility and efficacy of offering mindfulness experiences to college freshmen through Instagram, a popular social media platform. Research indicates that many college freshmen struggle with issues such as depression, social isolation, anxiety, substance abuse, poor academic performance, overeating, etc., all of which may increase the likelihood of dropping out of college or the establishment of long-term dysfunctional coping patterns. Mindfulness has been noted to mitigate many of the difficulties associated with making the transition from high school to college; however, very few studies investigate the effects of offering mindfulness experiences through social media applications. The research that is available in this area is limited in scope and focus, and frequently complicated by design issues. Thus, with a dearth of research available, it seems that there is a genuine need to create a mindfulness resource for college students that is delivered through the use of social media in order to investigate the efficacy of this delivery mechanism. Since over ninety percent of college students engage with social media regularly, the hope is that offering mindfulness through Instagram will be both appealing and engaging for students, thus enhancing participation. The goal is to create an enjoyable forum where students can learn about mindfulness and engage directly with mindfulness practices or experiences in order to enhance coping skills during this challenging period. Ultimately, the prediction is that regularly practicing mindfulness will mitigate the severity of the adaptive struggles that college students experience, perhaps resulting in higher levels of subjective happiness, improved decision-making skills, lowered incidences of substance abuse, decreased loneliness or isolation, better grades, and higher retention rates.
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Kress, Cheryl Lynn, "Lightly Peaceful: Facilitating College Transition Through Instagram Delivered Mindfulness Experiences" (2020). Mindfulness Studies Theses. 40.