College students and social media

Social media is one of the biggest ways that college students, and young people in general, communicate with each other. However because social media is a relatively new phenomenon the effects of heavy usage on a persons psyche are not fully understood, and many people are not conscious of how sustained heavy use can impact their lives. In addition it can be difficult for universities and other institutions to reach their students on social media in ways that they will actively want to engage with.

My photographs help to capture the loneliness that social media can create with people who use these platforms frequently, and for long periods of time. I deliberately tried to avoid putting more than one person, if any at all, in my shots to convey a sense of isolation to the viewer. I included shots of an empty campus to represent how a person using social media constantly feels when walking around campus, focusing only on their device and not on what’s going on around them, unaware of the people they pass. In addition I tried to use pictures of DU integrating technology into the everyday lives of students to show that its impossible to get away from technology, and that even universities are encouraging people to become more intertwined with the virtual world.

In order to get my photos I walked across campus looking for signage relating to social media, technology, or the Internet. As a result I learned more about the Cable Center than I knew previously, and found out that it is not just an event hall, but a semi-museum to the history of cable in the United States. In addition this project allowed me to reflect more than I ever have before about the process of photo taking. It allowed me to put conscious effort into framing the photos I take, the exposure level of a picture, and where the light sources I was shooting with were coming from.

One issue I faced was with the quality of the photos my IPhone was able to take, and for the next project I plan to check out a DSLR so that I can not only take higher quality photos, but also have more control over all the aspects of the picture, for instance shutter speed, and white balance.

This slideshow directly links to my issue story, and attempts to provide a visual supplement to my text based story. Researching for these projects allowed me to look at social media in ways I never had before, and opened my eyes about how serious it can become if use is left completely unchecked. An inherent human desire to be close to others can lead us to use social media in unhealthy amounts, and actually leave a person feeling more isolated than they did before. This project taught me about both photography, and the impacts of social media on a persons psyche. The opportunity to experiment with photo taking, and trying to tell a story through photography was not something I had done in the past, and allowed me to advance my skills as an aspiring journalist.

2 Responses to College students and social media

  • DJ Callahan
    DJ Callahan says:


    Loved your use of depth of field in a few of these, and I noticed that while a few of them look kind of flat and the colors washed out, it sorta gave it a retro look and I definitely dig it. Good job!

  • Jillian Queri
    Jillian Queri says:

    Adam! Well done. Your article was great and your photos really correlated with the subject. You also did a nice job of placing your captions, along with providing interesting information about your subject in your captions, as well. Thanks for sharing!

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