Ep. 63 – TikTok’s Messing With Your Mental Health

Jan 31, 2023

This episode of Media Inside Out was aired on January 30, 2023. 

When you’re having a bad day, or a bad month, who do you tell? Do you keep it private and journal about it in your diary? Do you share it with a few close friends? Tell your therapist? Or do you, even occasionally, share it on social media? Where is the tipping point for you? Is it OK to share specific ‘bad day’ stories on social media, like news of a breakup or losing a job, but not details about your depression or anxiety? Or do you feel the reverse, openly sharing personal details about depression and hoping social media reaches back with supportive comments and connecting with a tribe of people that understand what you’re going through? Sharing deeply personal, often traumatic events on social media, especially on TikTok, has become somewhat commonplace. Is it good for our psyche to post this personal information and destigmatize mental illness? Or are we simply encouraging one another to wallow in our pain? On today’s episode of Media Inside Out we explore the influence of social media on our mental health.  

Our Guests

Dr. Jessica Castonguay
Temple University

Dr. Jessica Castonguay is an assistant professor in the department of advertising and public relations at Temple University. She earned her PhD from the University of Arizona in 2014 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center in 2015, where she researched media effects on children. She continues to examine the role of media in children’s lives, specifically focusing on the impact of food advertising and developmental differences in children’s understanding of health and persuasion. She publishes in a variety of academic journals, including Communication Research, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and Communication Law and Policy. Additionally, she has extensive experience as an instructor, teaching courses such as Children’s Media and Legal and Moral Issues in Advertising. https://klein.temple.edu/directory/jessica-castonguay-tug11607

Dr. Tracy Evian Waasdorp, PhD M.S. E
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) 

Dr. Tracy Evian Waasdorp, PhD M.S. Ed., is the Director of Research for School-Based Bullying and Social Emotional Learning for the Center for Violence Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Assistant Faculty in Psychiatry at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Waasdorp’s research focuses on translating child development theory and literature into prevention and intervention programming to reduce aggression and bullying. Her programs aim to improve children’s social and emotional skills and help adults promote children’s positive peer relationships. https://injury.research.chop.edu/meet-our-team/tracy-waasdorp

Becca Lane
National Alliance on Mental Illness

Becca is the Education Manager for the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Philadelphia. She runs the NAMI teen mental health awareness education program, Ending the Silence, which involves going out to local schools and youth programs to talk about her own personal recovery journey as well as educate the teens about identifying warning signs and how to find help for themselves and their friends. https://namiphilly.org