Date of this Version
Cremins, Elizabeth A. (2023). Project Avatar: Utilizing the Power of Social-Media to Share Stories of Hope. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Addiction affects everyone and the stigma around addiction and its’ recovery makes it exponentially harder for individuals to heal. Today, adolescents are exposed to drugs, alcohol, and related substances from younger ages than ever before and the age of first consumption of these substances is continually decreasing. Further, social media makes it easier than ever for these young people to see substance-related content. Most teens and young adults today check their social media daily—if not hourly. Due to the young age of first exposure to substances coupled with the near-constant exposure that social media provides, addiction is an ever-present problem in college communities.
Rather than only see the negative effects that social media has, we wanted to utilize its ability to spread information quickly to a large audience. With research highlighting that personalized avatars are an effective way to connect with viewers, we are working on a social media initiative to spread hopeful stories of recovery to encourage young people to seek necessary help in times of trouble.