Summary Synthesis

CC BY-NC 2.0 PLN-1 Photo By: Caroline Bucky

One of the best decisions I made throughout my college career was switching my major to IDS (Interdisciplinary Studies). This major allows students to create their own learning path and get a degree for it. For my major I chose the Business of Health Promotion. My main focus while building this major was to connect domains that I am thoroughly interested in. This led me to Business and Health. The major itself allows me to keep my options open when it comes to a career. The way I built my major was to allow myself the option of marketing and selling through the business world of health. There are many health companies that need representatives to market and sell their products successfully and my major would meet the criteria. The other route my major could take me would be on the promotional end of the spectrum. There are many health companies that are starting off or just need to be promoted though networking, social media, and customer relations. I would feel confident doing either focus based upon the classes I took and the major I built.

CC BY 2.0

            For my Applied Project, I chose to shadow/ meet with a local business owner. I chose to meet with Susan Smith the owner of Cottage Place on Squam Lake. Sue and I met six times over the course of this semester for an hour each time. I decided to use this opportunity for my applied project because through social media, I have seen all of Sue’s marketing and networking she has done and really wanted to grasp her decision making, marketing strategies, and reasoning behind her event planning. I also decided to do this because my research topic discussed the negative effects of social media and I wanted to show and explain how social media can be extremely positive through a business view. This project contributed to my education deeply. Not only was I able to make connections to my business courses while meeting with Sue, but also I was able to discuss her business on a marketing level and feel confident in what I was saying and understanding. I learned a lot about timing events and timing marketing through social media platforms. Sue had a marketing explanation to every timed event depending on the season, weather, and even time of the day. This project also contributed to my education because I do see social media as a negative when the “bigger picture” comes into play, but after this project, I’ve learned that it truly is the present and the future in the business world as well as the networking world.

Susan Smith No rights reserved Photo Taken By: Peter Webster

            For my research article, I chose the topic of how social media negatively effects mental health. After researching different mental illnesses, I chose three specific ones; anxiety, body dysmorphia, and depression. Social media affected these three mental illnesses the most. The reason I chose this topic was because of the Mental Health Issues course I took in the fall of 2017. There is a huge stigma on mental health and it is unfortunately real for many individuals. Before the course, I would say I had a small stigma towards the topic, but by the end I completely changed my mind. Diseases occur all over organs in your body, but not the brain? So as a strong advocate for mental illness, I wanted to find ways to control and prevent added symptoms. I personally have had social media affect my moods, attitude, and self talk. I realized this could be a huge contributor to mental illnesses and wanted to research the outcome. This topic relates to my education because it goes hand and hand with my major. I wanted to promote mental health and help others realize how important it really. This also contributed to my education because it broadened my understanding of health as a whole. I have focused a lot on physical health and nutrition throughout my college career and wanted to widen my knowledge of the health field. I am confident in my knowledge of mental illness even more after writing my research paper.

CC by 2.0 Kirsten Leishman

In conclusion, I learned a lot through the Senior Seminar course. My applied project and research article express positive and negative aspects of social media. This was educational because I could compare and contrast my results of both assignments to really see a bigger picture. Through being IDS major, the courses I have taken, and the experiences along the way, I can confidently say my learning skills are where they need to be in order to face life outside of college. This route I have taken will impact my future greatly because of the concepts this course has provided. For example, how does anyone know a black swan exists unless they see one? This question explains the ideas behind researching the ideas you don’t know rather than researching the ones you do. I also know that the networking skills I have learned through this major will follow me into my career. Social media is the present and future and knowing how to network through each platform will advance my work a lot. On a more spiritually level this course has taught me to always ask questions, explore the unknown, and take control of your own learning. I am going to end this reflection the same way I started it; one of the best decisions I made throughout my college career was switching to IDS. I strongly recommend this path for others who are motivated to work, but find it hard without strong passion and love for their interests.

CC BY-ND 2.0 passion Picture By: pirate_renee

My PLN (Personal Learning Network)

For my PLN (Personal Learning Network) I used Twitter as my main source to stay connected to the main fields of my major. I created a LinkedIn for my PLN as well but felt more comfortable with my Twitter feed. LinkedIn gave me notifications for articles, jobs, interviews, and opportunities that I was interested in seeing because it gives me a taste of what is out their in the business and health world. Twitter was more accessible and reliable when it came to articles and research that helped me further my education down the path I am headed in.  I used Twitter almost on a daily basis whether it was just reading or following new accounts. One of the biggest lessons I learned was the more scholarly accounts I followed, the more information I gathered and was offered. This is the whole purpose of a Personal Learning Network. The more education connections made through platforms always connections, education, and communication to thrive at its best.

            Looking back at my PLN, it played a substantial role in my Interdisciplinary career. I have had the same account since my Introduction course, which allows me to look back and see how far I have, came. I find myself asking more questions as to why or what is the purpose is of something I am reading or posting. As a student, I have become more of a connector since my journey of student began. What I mean by this is I am always in search of connection that relates to my life or my environment. I think this is an amazing aspect I learned because it keeps my mind focused and always working. As a scholar, I have learned that a lot of my so-called “free time” is actually just as busy learning. I have become more motivated to learn because I am interested. I think that ties back into the idea behind Interdisciplinarity as well. The drive to learn and motivate individuals comes from the inner self of interests.

            My Personal Learning Network affects my major as well. My major is the Business of Health Promotion. I am interested in both these fields because of my background. I grew up in a family-ran business and have changed health habits for myself that sparked a huge interest in the health field. While using my PLN, I focused on business and marketing articles when they appeared. I would say the majority of my PLN was health related topics. I find these more relatable, interesting, and desirable. Health Promotion is one of the biggest concerns in America and liking, retweeting, and posting articles is very enjoyable because I know I am trying to help inform people all over.

            When it comes to my future, my PLN relates greatly. I plan to move away from Plymouth, New Hampshire when I graduate and one of the easiest ways to stay connected to individuals and companies in my field is by networking. Without networking through social media platforms, my options would be limited and hard to outsource. LinkedIn account has helped me job search in potential areas I want to live in and sparked interest in career paths as well. I am not sure what I will be doing right after college, but I have learned from my PLN as well as being a Interdisciplinary student that everyday is a new learning opportunity, connections is key, and to keep moving towards an end goal by following your interests.

Here is my Twitter Profile

Here is Some Networking From my Twitter Feed

HarvardPublicHealth shared this super interesting article. Uncovering a “Smoking Gun”of Biological Aging is an article that explained a new discovery in ribosomal DNA clock that can accurately determine a person’s biological and chronological age. This article was extremely interesting to me because if the DNA clock can determine age, there are so many factors that could be determined such as pollutants and dietary needs. I retweeted this because I wanted my followers to read this! It was so interesting what technology and new discoveries can create.

I chose to retweet this article because there are so many myths based around nutrition that determine what people eat in order to be “healthy.” Nutrition is all about a balanced life and restrictions to diet should not be encouraged daily. I posted this in order for others to read and realize dietary myths are a big reason why individuals diet.

On a less serious note, I find it fun to retweet recipes that look good! I think it is really important to relax and enjoy twitter once in a while. Although this is not as educational as other posts, I do think this helped me relax as well as learn a new healthy alternative for a dressing I love. I am always trying to find a healthier alternative for my cooking and this sparked a tangent.

This Blinkish post made me connect to our article from class about reading and find a purpose. I retweeted it in order to inform and possibly create more connections in my PLN.

My LinkedIn Notifications

I really enjoy the notifications LinkedIn sends me. Between job opportunities and articles, I can choose when and where I read them, or if I do at all. LinkedIn has shown me many job opportunities through networking and I love reading about them

My Personal Learning Network has helped me significantly through this semester and will continue to help me connect and network as I further my journey as a learner.


Applied Project: Shadowing Business Owner of The Cottage Place on Squam Lake

For my applied project, I decided to study a local business’s social media pages in order to gain better knowledge, understanding, and networking skills. The business I chose to study carefully is The Cottage Place on Squam Lake, located at 1132 U.S Route 3, Holderness NH, 03245. This business has made extremely smart decisions since its selling and rename from The Black Horse Motor Court to The Cottage Place on Squam Lake in 2003. Since the time this business has been open, there has been multiple marketing schemes in order to profit financially as well as promotionally. Throughout my time with Susan Smith (Owner of Cottage Place), I have gained a background in business marketing, the hardship of a business, as well as the networking it takes to run a successful motel. Since March 19th 2019 I have met up with Susan Smith to discuss her social media platforms, as well as the information she is marketing. Each weekly meeting was held at the Cottage Place on Squam Lake located at the address above. Spending an hour every Tuesday with her has made a difference in not only my learning, but in hopes for others to see that hard work pays off. Sue uses Facebook and Instagram to healthily promote The Cottage Place on Squam Lake. She chose these two platforms because they have the highest population of people in the correct age groups for her to be marketing to. Sue hosts multiple events a year in order to get her business out there in the public eye.

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

The first event that Sue and I discussed was Tuko Pamoja. This event has been an annual event for three years. Sue uses her lodge (biggest rental that sleeps 16) to set up a non-profit market place for Kenyan women and orphans. All of the profits are sent back to the 180 Kenyan women who make all the crafts that are sold. This is an amazing network for Sue to have because it offers items to be sold here in the United States, which gets the women of Kenya recognition for their work as well as more money to support them. On a business level, this a strong marketing scheme because it gets visitors to see lodging availability, the property as a whole, and also makes shoppers feel good about themselves because of the cause the profits go to. By posting this on Facebook, Sue Smith has allowed the event to be shared, liked, and commented on.

By using Instagram as a marketing platform, The Cottage Place on Squam Lake is able to post multiple pictures at once, as well as post before, during, and after the event in order to promote business for the next year. By using two different platforms, Sue is able to have two different windows that potentially could bring in business.

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

This meeting Sue Smith and I discussed one of her biggest upcoming events. The Vintage Market on Squam Lake is year around planned even that takes place every year on the first weekend of May and the last weekend of October. Sue explained that when marketing for annual events, it is really important to keep the dates the same each year. This allows customers to plan in advice and become loyal to the event. Sue uses the property of The Cottage Place on Squam Lake to rent out 10 by 10 square feet for vendors who want to sell unique items or crafts for Saturday and Sunday. The marketing doesn’t stop there; she rents every cottage and motel suite for both weekends of the year with vendors who stay for the weekend and use the cottage as a display for their items being sold. Her idea for this event began with brainstorming how to get business and publicity for these specific weekends in May and October. This time of the year isn’t as busy as Summer and Sue is always working on gaining loyal and happy customers so she decided to team up with Stacey Lucas (owner of Veggie Art Girl in Ashland, New Hampshire) to create this amazing event. Sue has had two full markets (rain or shine) that averaged 2000 visitors.

Sue Smith and Stacey Lucas created their own Facebook for this event because of the success that came from the first two markets (Vintage Markets Facebook page is ran and operated by Stacey Lucas)
Live music, food vendors, and art is all available. Under the community section, 1,075 people have lived the event, while 1,124 people follow this page. This shows me that almost everyone who is following the page has liked the event.
Here is the post card designed by Stacey Lucas for the October market.

Sue explained that considering this is a fairly new event, the marketing and networking has to be present and monitored weekly. By this I mean, she focuses on new posts and reminders weekly in order to gain more followers and publicity. She described how crucial posting is because different people like, share, or comment each time something is posted. This event is one of the most exciting events for Sue because of the hard work that is put in is always worth it when the turn out is great!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

During our meeting on the 2nd, we discussed her event held in November. November is a hard time for business because it is off season for most lodging areas around here. Sue needed a fun, profitable, and manageable event to bring business to the property. She has always loved and owned Newfoundland dogs as well as being apart of the Association for Newfoundlands. This sparked the idea of “November being NEWFember.” By reaching out to the Association through email and Facebook, she was able to create a weekend package for Newfoundland lovers like herself. This upcoming November will be her fourth year with more guests each year. She orchestrates a meet and greet, breakfast, photoshoot, lunch, and a led hike up Rattlesnake hiking trail in Holderness. This has been so successful, Sue has had to create two weekends in November in order to accommodate everyone. She used Facebook and Instagram to market and network her weekend package at The Cottage Place on Squam Lake.

Sue has already begun her marketing for this upcoming November, while planning an event that hasn’t happened yet (Vintage Market). Sue says, “the importance of marketing is to stay ahead of the game and it is never too early to spread the word about an event”
Here is the Cottage Place on Squam Lake’s 2018 flyer for NEWFember.

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

This meeting at the Cottage Place revolved around Kayak University. Kayak University is an event created to get customers to enjoy the lake and get familiar with not only the property, but also the water. This event is held May 31st through June 2. Meals, lodging, seminars led by New Hampshires best anglers, and two days of kayak fishing. Sue strategically planned this event around June 1st because of its free fishing day. People do not need a license to fish on June 1st. This is a strong marketing move because there will be more people in the area, guests don’t need a license, and it will draw costumers to return to next years Kayak University.

Sue uses guest and friends having fun to market her events too. The more photos taken during an event, the more marketing can be done.

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

During our time together, Sue and I discussed her gift shop in her check-in lobby. She explained to me that owning a gift shop comes with a lot of seasonal changes. For example, she has different open houses for different times of the years. Her two biggest open houses are held in October and December. Both open houses are held in the same place and at the same time, but the gift store changes drastically. Sue changes her inventory depending on the season. At these open houses, Sue hosts by having complementary refreshments and snacks laid out in decorative fashion while answering questions customers have about items in the store. The Cottage Place on Squam Lake’s open houses begin at 4 pm and end around 8 pm. This is a marketing scheme for Sue to invite locals into the gift store to view her new inventory and spread the word to friends and family. She has been doing this since her gift shop has been open. This is one of her smaller events planned, but it gets recognition, publicity, and profit for the business.

The gift store at the Cottage Place on Squam Lake during the holidays.
Flyer for Halloween Open House
The gift store at the Cottage Place on Squam Lake during the fall season (Halloween).
The Cottage Place’s most recent Holiday Open house Flyer.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

During our last session of my applied project, Sue and I discussed networking with local businesses. She explained how networking with locals is a great way to market others and oneself. Networking locally allows not only success for other businesses, but the favor is returned. When businesses share, recommend, and like other businesses in the area, the community is happier. Another reason to network locally in the Cottage Place’s position, is because it is a lodging business. This means that communicating with other lodging properties allows businesses to recommend when they have no vacancy or give directions to. Sues uses Facebook and Instagram to network with local businesses in the area. For example, she likes and shares posts made by the others to express the same type of marketing they are doing. Helping local businesses share events, gives Sue the same marketing from their side.

Sue is advertising for local Cindy O’Leary and her private boat excursions. This helps Cindy market, which in return will help The Cottage Place because Cindy can recommend the Cottage Place as a place to stay. Networking is a giant circulation of marketing.
Sue is networking with Squam Lake MarketPlace in order to inform the public they are opening for the year.

Building relationships with local businesses is a great marketing strategy because it allows word to travel, business to thrive, and communication skills that will further anyones knowledge in networking.

Documentation of Meetings

Works Cited

“Cottage Place on Squam Lake | Pet Friendly Hotel Bed & Breakfast NH.” Bed & Breakfast NH | Pet Friendly Hotel New Hampshire,

Palmer, Mackenzie, and Susan Smith. “Marketing For The Cottage Place on Squam Lake.”

All photos were taken directly from the Cottage Place on Squam Lake’s website, Facebook page, or Instagram account with full permission from Susan Smith, the owner of Cottage Place.


Research Article: Social Media Negatively Effects Mental Illness

When it comes to every day life, mental health is extremely important in order to function properly. All over the world anxiety, body dysmorphia, and depression are huge areas in the mental health field that causes people to suffer each day without a physical clue as to what that individual is going through. Having so many people suffer from these mental illnesses raises the question as to what might cause, create, or enable these diseases to linger? One area that relates to all three mental illnesses is social media and the time spent using these platforms. Social media has a negative effect on anxiety, body, dysmorphia, and depression because of extreme usage and obsession people have which causes unhealthy brain activity and mental state. Social media can be used in positive ways, but in most ways it is taken advantage of negatively.  Research has shown strong correlations between mental illness and social media.

CC by 2.0 Kirsten Leishman Mental health

One of the biggest mental illnesses that is linked to social media usage is anxiety. Anxiety is a normal feeling to have in certain dosages, but it becomes a disorder when it is uncontrollable. Anxiety is defined as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure”(Adam Felman).  Symptoms may very from each patient but restlessness, uncontrollable feelings of worry, increased irritability, concentration difficulties, and sleep difficulties are all major concerns of this mental illness (Adam Felman). There are many causes to anxiety; such as genetics, medical factors, brain chemistry, and withdrawal from illicit substances, but one of them relates to social media greatly (Adam Felman). Felman expresses that one of the main causes for anxiety is environmental stressors. This could include family issues, relationship issues, or anything in surrounding. One of the platforms that environmental stressors thrive on is social media. For example, looking at figure 1, there is data that shows the average penetration, engagement, and sessions the average person uses. All of these platforms are used to share family information, relationship information, and other environmental aspects that cause high anxiety when used multiple times. Looking at Facebook data, 60% of users access the app or website more than 8 times a day (Adam Felman). For a platform that thrives off of environmental stressors, there is a lot of usage per day that will cause anxiety to rise greatly. According to Sarah Rocha, 95% of teens have access to a smartphone and 45% of teens say they are on the Internet constantly. These percentages came from a recent Pew Survey. “The rise in use of digital media is correlated with evidence of increasing rates of adolescent anxiety” (Sarah Rocha).  Not only in adults does social media cause anxiety, but also in adolescents. Anxiety is not the only mental illness that relates to social media.

Figure 1 (David Chaffey)

Body dysmorphia is a huge issue in the mental illness field. The majority of these issues come from comparing, studying, and obsessing over other peoples’ body image that misleads individual perception of their own image. “Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a distinct mental disorder in which a person is preoccupied with an imagined physical defect or a minor defect that others often cannot see. As a result, people with this disorder see themselves as “ugly” and often avoid social exposure or turn to plastic surgery to try to improve their appearance” ( This mental disorder connects to social media in many ways because of the constant comparison to others online. “Survey, correlational, randomized control, and covariance structure modeling investigations indicate that the media are a significant factor in the development and maintenance of eating and shape‐related disorders” (Thompson). Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all high photo using platforms that cause people to question their appearance in comparison to other body types, pressures, and judgments.  A study was done on American women ranging from ages 18-25 years of age that relates to body image. The study was done on their body dissatisfaction, mood, and perceptions of the target. “Viewing idealized images taken from social media had a negative influence on women’s body image, with or without the presence of disclaimers”(Fardouly). This explains the constant comparison that is taken place between users of social media platforms that negatively effect individuals. Mental illnesses linked to social media do not stop at body dysmorphia.

Social media negatively affects people struggling from the mental illness of depression. Depression is disease that affects serotonin levels in the body, causing individuals to have uncontrollable feelings of sadness. “Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act” (Sarah Rocha). Studies have been conducted that link depression to the social media. An interesting study was done on mothers who strive for perfection and compare themselves to the ideals on social media (Tricia Padoa). The present study examined the influence through the platforms of Facebook and Instagram. A sample size of 201 and one mothers completed the survey that included Self-Orientated Parenting Perfectionism and Societal-Prescribed Parenting Perfectionism. Padoa was interested in the relationship between perfectionism and maternal mental health. The results showed that the process of comparison with other mothers on social media contributed to symptoms of depression (Tricia Padoa). This shows that comparisons made through social media effect depression greatly. This relates to not being happy within and not satisfied because there are “better” accounts than the individual feeling down. Another study was done that linked social media to worsened well-being. Melissa Hunt conducted a study of 143 undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania. They were randomly picked to be either limited to time on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat for 10 minutes, per platform, per day for three weeks or to use social media as usual (Melissa Hunt). “The limited use group showed significant reductions in loneliness and depression over three weeks compared to the control group” (Melissa Hunt). The conclusion of this study strongly suggest that limiting social media to 30 minutes a day may lead to improvement of well-being (Melissa Hunt). These studies help support that social media effects depression greatly and should be used limitedly. Depression is a terrible mental illness that is negatively affected by social media and should be discussed more often in order to help the suffering individuals gain knowledge on the matter.

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Change Photo By: Sebastien Wiertz

Anxiety, body dysmorphia, and depression are all strongly linked to the usage of social media platforms. Social media has a negative effect on anxiety, body dysmorphia, and depression because of extreme usage, obsession, and comparison people have which causes unhealthy brain activity and mental state. Mental health is extremely crucial to everyday activity and should not be undermined. Research supports that there is a correlation between mental illness and social media. This is something that society can help and change with the right knowledge in individuals as well as communities. There is time to catch and control anxiety, body dysmorphia, and depression if actions are taken to lower time spent on social media platforms as well as time spent in front of the screen.

Picture By: Mackenzie Palmer

Works Cited

Fardouly, Jasmine, and Elise Holland. “Social Media Is Not Real Life: The Effect of Attaching Disclaimer-Type Labels to Idealized Social Media Images on Women’s Body Image and Mood.” EBSCOHost, Nov. 2018,

Felman, Adam. “Anxiety: Overview, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments.” Edited by Dillion Brown, Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 26 Oct. 2018,

Hunt, Melissa, et al. “No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression.” EBSCOHost, Dec. 2018,

“Mental Health: Body Dysmorphic Disorder.” WebMD, WebMD, 4 Dec. 2017,

Padoa, Tricia, et al. “Comparative Social Media Use and the Mental Health of Mothers With High Levels of Perfectionism.” EBSCOHost, Sept. 2018,

Rocha, Sarah. “Talking with Teens and Families about Digital Media Use.” EBSCOHost, Mar. 2019,

Thompson, Kevin J, and Leslie J Heinburg. “The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.” Journal of Social Issues, vol. 2, no. 1, 1946, pp. i-i., doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.1946.tb00959.x.

“What Is Depression?” Edited by Ranna Parekh, What Is Depression?,


Women could be more susceptible to PTSD than others!

CC by 2.0 Kirsten Leishman Mental health

Research has shown that childhood trauma increases the risk of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in adulthood, especially in women. This has raised a lot of questions because of the biological factors that correlate to unknown areas in genetics and relations to women and men brains. The University of Missouri has proposed a solution that could better help doctors understand the impact of early trauma on women as well as how their traumatic childhoods develop PTSD. The study begins to describe how women’s stress response system diminishes the ability to fight stress later in life. The model shown also states that biologically some women are more resilient to PTSD than other women. Yang Li, who has a postdoctoral fellow in MU’s Sinclair School of Nursing, says that there are two hormones that control stress, cortisol and oxytocin. Cortisol is what floods the body when a stressful event occurs and oxytocin is the hormone that brings the cortisol back to regular levels. This system breaks down when stressful events lead to trauma. This causes the cortisol levels to unchecked and the body at a higher stress level.

Women with the dissociative form of PTSD have alterations in both hormones, causing events to leave more of a trauma filled memory. Throughout Li’s research her findings always looped back to childhood. Childhood trauma affects the women’s body in a more intense way. This causes trauma to reoccur more often and at a higher stress level.

            This article sparked my interest because I know a few men with PTSD and the title of the article was focused to women. I find it interesting how different men and women truly are when it comes to hormones. After reading this article, I can relate to certain areas. I have had stressful times in my childhood that I can connect to todays stress even though I don’t have PTSD.  This article helped me understand stress on a hormonal level that I hadn’t understood before. I relate this to my personal learning network from the past. This reminds me of the hormones that are released when you are hungry and full. Ghrelin is the hormone that is released when you are hungry, while leptin is the signal that allows you to feel full. Making these connections throughout my personal learning network allows me to expand my knowledge and understand health as a whole. I am happy I found this article


Pet Antibiotics Can Make Owners Sick?

Extremely interesting article I came across!  This article caught my eye because I have two dogs and to think their antibiotics could make me sick raised questions. Pets can carry antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This study began with the discussion of bacteria being resistant to linezolid, which is a drug used to help humans heal infections quickly.  This bacteria that is resistant can jump from pet to owners, which could make treating humans much more difficult if an infection arises.  “In order to minimize transmission of resistant bacteria between companion animals and people, veterinary surgeries need to ensure adequate cleaning takes place and pet owners should wash their hands after handling pets.” – Kate Hopkins.  The bacteria that is resistant is Enterococcus faecalis, this bacteria is common in the urinary tract. The researchers examined three cats and a dog that had been wounded and found they all came back positive for optrA (the resistance to linezolid). The found that the bacteria was present, but there isn’t a clear direction of transfer from animal to human.

Photo taken by Mackenzie Palmer

            After reading this article, I made connections to my earlier courses of biology. The discussion of bacteria and how it is transferred is an amazing topic. Bacteria are everywhere and always being changed and manipulated. The fact that a loving pet can carry bacteria that could potentially hurt their human is intriguing. The biggest take away from this article is to constantly beware of my surroundings and always keep in the back of my mind bacteria is everywhere (good and bad). This initially sparked my interest because I have recently become a sole owner of two dogs because of a family situation. I am constantly researching about medicines, food, allergies, and much more that could benefit my dogs because I want them as healthy as possible. This made me realize that I am also here to take care of my health and myself as a whole. This connects to my personal learning network because no new knowledge is bad knowledge. I also have a high interest in bacteria and the transfer of it due to my major relating to health promotion. Love your pets and wash your hands!


Obesity and the Brain!

(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Dividing cells showing chromosomes (purple) and cell skeleton (green) Photo By: Zeiss Microscopy

I came across an interesting article that I wanted to elaborate and share with my followers. I found it through Medical News Today. Scientists have found a linkage to obesity and the brain! Scientist have just started to study the relationship between the brain and obesity through neuronal circuits and lower gray matter volume. The discussion of obesity begins with specifically the stomach area correlating with brain size.

            One of the findings was involving the brain’s prefrontal cortex (the area that is important for complex thinking, planning, and self-control). This cortex was less active in people who overeat or are less active, which lead to obesity.  On the other hand scientist found there are an array of neurons that can curb overeating when they become active. Dr. Dekkers from the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands reported smaller gray matter volumes in people with obesity.  They examined over 12,000 people in order to study the participants’ gray and white matter. After reviewing, they found that it differed between men and women. This helped them determine that gender is huge modifier of the linkage between fat percentage and size of brain structures. Even though, gender mattered, their overall conclusion was there is a correlation between a larger amount of body fat and the chance of small changes in the brains white matter.  By using MRI’s they studied the communication between white matter and neuron actions.

            After reading this, I started to think about my eating habits and how they might be affecting my brain function. It is so interesting to me how our fat levels relate to our brain activity. This makes me think of how complex the human body truly is and that this is just the beginning of research on this topic. I find it most interesting that stomach fat is the most effective for brain circulation. Maybe it is because it is around the core of your body or maybe because it is linked to certain diseases? This is such an interesting article for me and I am glad I was able to share it with everyone. I have learned that in order to be most energized, well rested, and on top of it, I have to monitor my fat intake.  Brain activity is so important and truly controls the body. Stay healthy and stay active!


Outline for The Effect Social Media has on Mental Health



  1. Thesis: Social media has a negative effect on mental illness because our generation thrives off of spending time scrolling through pages while forgetting reality exist, which causes unhealthy biases and mental states.

Body of Research

  1. Mental health
    1. Depression
    2. Anxiety
    3. Body dysmorphia
  2. Social media
    1. Platforms used
      1. Instagram: what is mostly posted? Personal vs. Commercial? Purpose of Instagram?
      2. Twitter: What is usually shared/ posted? What the purpose is? Personal vs. Commercial?
      3. Facebook: Purpose? Used most for? Personal vs. Business accounts?
    2. Positives of Social Media: marketing, connecting, individualism
    3. Negatives of social media: time spent, biases, shares and likes, judgement, comparing accounts to individuals and others, depression, anxiety, body dysmorphia
  3. Generation (Millenials)
    1. Trends in this generation found through social media
      1. Body: perceived image
      2. Posts: portrayal of life
      3. Time spent on social media: time spent on scrolling and time spent posting individual thoughts
      4. Most usage of social media through different ages: What age has the most usage? What their posts are? What mental health statistics are for that genre

  1. Negative effects social media has on mental illness
    1. Depression related to social media: memes, posts, time spent
    2. Anxiety related to social media: counting likes, waiting effect, addiction to platforms
    3. Body dysmorphia related to social media: comparing bodies, unhealthy weight loss/ weight gain, anorexia, seeing yourself less than you are, “Looks are everything”


  1. Restate thesis, powerful: reinforce connection to negative effects of social media to mental health
  2. Wrap up lose ends: connection to data and research from body of paper
  3. Connect back to research


The Effect Social Media has on Mental Illness


  • Style: Research Paper

The topic I chose is very important to me because of the obsession millenials have on social media. There are so many worries and relations to mental illness and social media that I want to express as much information about the connection they have in order to help individuals monitor, access, and use social media healthily. Here are sources that have helped inform me.

Alberga, Angela, et al. “Fitspiration and Thinspiration: a Comparison across Three Social Networking Sites.” EBSCOhost, 26 Nov. 2018,

In the article “Fitspiration and Thinspiration: a Comparison across Three Social Networking Sites.” (2018), Angela Alberga suggests that Fitspiration and Thinspiration marketed through social media negatively effects body image. Alberga develops her research by examining and comparing the two platforms of Fitspiration and Thinspiration and collecting data from three photo-sharings through Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter on four days over a two-week period. The purpose of Angela Alberga’s research is to compare the issue of body image through the two platforms and determine if one of the platforms is more negative than the other. The audience for this article is followers of these two platforms, the general population,  as well as Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter users.

Brusilovsky, Eugene, et al. “Social Media Use, Community Participation and Psychological Well-Being among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses.” EBSCOHost, Dec. 2016,

In the article “Social Media Use, Community Participation and Psychological Well-Being among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses.” (2016), Eugene Brusilovsky claims that individuals with serious mental illnesses spends less time involved with community participation, civic engagement, and psychosocial involvement. Brusilovsky provides information by collecting data from 18 mental health organizations throughout the U.S with questionnaires on their patients’ involvement in community, engagement, quality of life, loneliness, and each patient’s symptoms. The purpose of this article is to discuss and realize the effect social media has on patients who suffer from a mental illness as well as comparing the involvement they have with social media to their other duties in life. The audience for this article is mental health organizations as well as the general population using social media platforms.

Hickie, Ian B. “Moderator Assistant: A Natural Language Generation-Based Intervention to Support Mental Health via Social Media.”, Oct 2015, Accessed 27, April 2018.

In this article “Moderator Assistant: A Natural Language Generation-Based Intervention to Support Mental Health via Social Media (2015), Ian B. Hickie suggests that mental health support groups become increasingly popular through the use of interventions by using Natural Language Generation. Hickie supports his claims by comparing 35 psychology interns through using their workloads, efficacy, and language. Hickie’s purpose of his study is to improve the efficacy of workers as well as reducing moderator’s workload with the Natural Language Generation. His intended audience is workers who suffer from mental illness and need to lower stress levels within their work and find a supportive group that could be an outsource for the individual.

Ladika, Susan, et al. “Technology Addiction: Is Obsessive Computer Use a Mental Health Disorder?” EBSCOHost, 20 Apr. 2018,, accessed 27 April, 2019.

In this article “Technology Addiction: Is Obsessive Computer Use a Mental Health Disorder?” (2018), Susan Ladika suggests that social media and technology addiction can affect the brain the same way as alcohol addiction might. Ladika provides information that supports Facebook is designed their products to be addictive as well as South Korean and Chinese established governments concluding technology can be harmful. Susan Ladika’s purpose is to address the overall issues with addiction, anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder that connect to technology usage. The audience for this source is the National Institutes of Health as well as child advocates who need knowledge on technology usage in young kids and adults.

Worsley, Joanne, et al. “ Detailed Record Title: Cyberbullying Victimisation and Mental Distress: Testing the Moderating Role of Attachment Security, Social Support, and Coping Styles.” Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties, Mar. 2019,

In the article, “ Detailed Record Title: Cyberbullying Victimisation and Mental Distress: Testing the Moderating Role of Attachment Security, Social Support, and Coping Styles.” (2019), Joanne Worsley claims that cyberbullying leads to mental health problems in victims, as well as suspects of cyberbullying. Through extensive research on adolescents aging from 13-19 years of age and a completed surveys of that age group, she measured cyberbullying victimization, attachment styles, perceived social media, coping styles, and mental distress, Worsely developed her work. Joanne Worsley’s purpose is to find a correlation between social media cyberbullying and mental illnesses in children ranging from 13 to 19 years of age. Her audience is individuals and family services in order to get victims help and inform the public.


Social Media and Mental Illness -Prospectus

Applied Project

For an applied project I will be following the business of the Cottage Place on Squam Lake’s social media platforms. This business does a lot of advertising through Facebook and Instagram and I wanted to use this to show Social media through a positive platform as well as the marketing side of the business considering that is part of my major. I plan to do this by meeting with the owner Sue Smith as well as study their techniques of marketing their events positively.

photo taken by Mackenzie Palmer

Research Proposal

For my research topic, I chose to something that has raised questions in my brain for a while.  Why is our generation so obsessed with social media?  Could mental illness correlate with social media? After thinking about this for a while I came up with a research proposal. I am researching the effect social media has on mental illness because I want to find out why our generation thrives off of posting, sharing, and appearance, in order to inform the next generation.

Persuasive Discussion

I am extremely interested in this topic because of the memes and posts I see on a daily basis. Everyone is obsessed with how their page looks or what they are wearing and why they are doing something instead of enjoying what they are doing. I also have noticed the amount of posts that relate bad behavior to humor. This is a big reason I believe this topic needs to be discussed. Social media has a way of making behaviors such as binge drinking or procrastination relatable and funny. This must affect the person who is reading this greatly. Or for another example, women who see other women all over the Internet who appear as “perfect”, but are just people like everyone else. Personally, I am driven to do this research because all of high school and most of college, I constantly compared my social media accounts to others and my body to others. I finally realized what a waste of time comparing, obsessing, and judging was. I believe that body dysmorphia, depression, and anxiety disease could relate strongly to mental illness.

Photo By: Sebastien Wiertz

For the Audience….

The major reason I would conduct this research paper would be for my audience. I would want them to read this and realize whether they might themselves can relate or know someone they could help. I want my paper to open eyes to the aggressive amount of time social media takes up and what it might be doing to our minds. I went to Ireland for nine weeks in 2016 thinking I would have Wi-Fi and all the creature comforts I am used to in the United States. I didn’t. I arrived and had no use of Wi-Fi for the first three weeks of my trip solely because of the location I was and the poor connection. At first, my anxiety kicked in and didn’t know how to act because it feels as if you are missing something, but after a few days I grew to love not being connected. I have never been more relaxed or worry free since my trip. I want my audience to read my paper and be able to see what social media might be doing to them or at least be able to connect my research to their life.


  • What is anxiety?
  • What is depression?
  • What is body dysmorphia?
  • What is social media?
  • What social media platforms are used most by millennials?
  • What connections to mental illness does social media relate to?

Other terms that I am aware of…

  • Comparison
  • Procrastination
  • Mental illness


  • Twitter
  • Facebook

Helpful Sources


1Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population & Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia


CQ Researcher. 4/20/2018, Vol. 28 Issue 15, p341-364. 24p. 13 Color Photographs, 3 Charts.

Timeline and Plan

My plan in order to complete my research and applied project is to stay on track with the course spreadsheet. I plan to complete my work, as it is due. I will account for family events and other classwork in an account a timing issue arises.

My plan is to have my outline and research paper finished before my applied project is at its peak.

I would feel most secure by having my Precis and RA outline done before March 20, 2019

I will stay up to date with my Eport posts through out the semester in order to complete my PLN portfolio before April 19th, 2019

I would like to have my applied project completed before April 24th,2019

I do understand things come up and will prepare for those events ahead of time if it interferes with my work being completed.

Sources I have used… (Works Cited)

Hickie, Ian B, et al. “Moderator Assistant: A Natural Language Generation- Based Intervention to Support Mental Health via Social Media.” EBSCOhost, Oct. 2015,

Ladika, Susan, et al. “Technology Addiction: Is Obsessive Computer Use a Mental Health Disorder?” EBSCOHost, 20 Apr. 2018,

Worsley, Joanne, et al. “ Detailed Record Title: Cyberbullying Victimisation and Mental Distress: Testing the Moderating Role of Attachment Security, Social Support, and Coping Styles.” Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties, Mar. 2019,