Young teenage girll with phone on her bed

A Bonneville High School student is asking her peers, family and community to completely avoid social media for 10 days.

For her senior project, Kennedi Janson recently started a social media cleanse — asking friends, family and students at Bonneville to delete all social media apps from their phones to help detox from the angst social media can bring to everyday teenagers. 

A recent study published by The Lancet, a United Kingdom medical science journal, found that teenagers who spend more than three-to-five hours a day on social media have a greater risk for depression. The connection is more prominent for girls.

"I just hope it's enough to spark a difference," Janson said in a phone interview Tuesday. "I hope it gets kids to see that they are affected by (social media) and to see outside themselves and improve their lives."

The project asks students to pledge "to look up" from their phones — Janson said Bonneville's student council and multiple students have pledged by putting a hand-print signature on a post in the school's cafeteria — and help students who may feel anxiety, depression or suicidal from comments, or pressures, social media brings. 

The project plans to run until at least Feb. 6. 

"10 Day Social Media Cleanse Day 1: come put your handprint on the 'I pledge to look up' poster at lunch," the Bonneville High School Twitter account tweeted out Sunday

Janson said her senior project was inspired by Collin Kartchner, a Utah internet activist who recently spoke in Idaho Falls on Jan. 7 regarding teen's social media habits. Janson said she recently deleted all social media apps from her phone. She now communicates strictly through text or calling, stating she feels like she "has more time" and is "less moody." 

Though social media has not had a negative effect on her mental health, Janson said she has friends who have been "torn down" by apps. She said she hopes the movement helps generate positive conversations about mental health issues for teenagers like anxiety and depression. 

"Society and social media puts a lot of pressure on kids my age to 'look this way' or that you have to 'be success to be important,' and do all these things," Janson said. "I just can’t physically do all that. You just can’t do that."

Luke O'Roark is a reporter for the Post Register. He can be reached at 208-542-6763. You can also follow him on Twitter: @LukeORoark 

Education Reporter

An education reporter interested in a variety of topics — basketball, television, hip hop, philosophy. Has been working at the Post Register for close to two years.

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