Social Media Empowerment

Our Big Idea 2024!

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Sol Treasures is committed to fostering social media empowerment among teens, youth, and young adults through the power of art. Recognizing the dual nature of social media as both enriching and potentially detrimental to mental health, Sol Treasures aims to spark discussions that benefits self-regulation and provide alternatives to excessive social media use through artistic expression. Sol Treasures promotes a healthy relationship with social media through engaging mediums such as podcasting, multi-media painting, writing, digital design, and performance art. These projects catalyze critical thinking and self-reflection by showcasing diverse perspectives and personal experiences. Their work will be exhibited in the Sol Treasures Youth-Teen Gallery, allowing young artists to celebrate their power and navigate social media’s complexities, promoting dialogue among all participants. Sol Treasures provides a home for these artists to gather in a safe location to engage in artistic mediums, creating lasting habits for a successful future.

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Empowering Minds Through Art at Sol Treasures

I believe the arts can heal. I know they can. I have seen it first hand many times, and have personally experienced it over and over again throughout my own life. I believe that the internet and social media are amazing tools that can benefit us, but I also feel it has grown unchecked for so long that parents, youth, families, communities, and entire countries have suffered by what type of information it can put in front of our faces without discretion. Parents try their best to keep up, but it's not just Facebook and Instagram anymore. There are tons of social media platforms, and tons of clips, sites, songs, movies, and episodes that children have access to accidentally, and it happens too fast for anyone to grab it. Once you see something, you cannot unsee it. Once you hear something, it's hard to unhear it. So what can you do? What can WE do?

As a psychology educator at Hartnell College, and as a father of three, I have witnessed firsthand the profound impact that the convergence of the pandemic, isolation, and the pervasive influence of social media has had on the mental well-being of our youth. It is with great enthusiasm that I endorse the transformative program and curriculum that is being launched this year at Sol Treasures.

In an era where our understanding of how our brains function is expanding, it becomes increasingly crucial to address the rising tide of symptoms of mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and suicide among the youth. I am deeply committed to leveraging the healing power of art and expression to combat these challenges through education and the cultivation of new habits.

Sol Treasures stands at the forefront of fostering social media empowerment among teens, youth, and young adults. Recognizing the dual nature of social media as both enriching and potentially detrimental to mental health, the program initiates essential discussions that promote self-regulation and provide alternatives to excessive social media use through actively participating in artistic expression.

A particularly commendable aspect of this new initiative is its commitment to bridging the generational gap. The program aims not only to help parents connect with their children but also to facilitate meaningful connections among children themselves and with the broader world. In a time when the overwhelming influence of social media and incessant news cycles pose significant challenges, Sol Treasures emerges as a beacon of hope and resilience.

The array of engaging mediums employed, including multi-media painting, writing, digital design, and performance art, serves as a catalyst for critical thinking and self-reflection. By showcasing diverse perspectives and personal experiences, these projects create a dynamic platform for exploration and growth. But we are not just stopping there. Participation in these sorts of workshops and classes has been declining in the past couple of years, so we are taking the next step in art, putting the A in STEAM, and developing a technical performing arts program through the creation of podcasting. If we are unable to get participants to register and show up in person, we will take the information right to the participants, because this information is crucial to building a healthier society. Learning the ins and outs of podcasting and sound editing will be an essential part of the curriculum, as we use podcast creation as one of the many artistic ways to unplug from the world of notifications, and socialize with one another through real conversations. 

The dedication to ensuring the program fulfills its mission is evident. By providing a safe haven for artists to gather and engage in various artistic mediums, we are sowing the seeds of lasting habits that will undoubtedly contribute to a successful and fulfilling future.
In conclusion, the Social Media Empowerment program and curriculum we are presenting is not merely another set of arts workshops; it is a vital force in shaping the mental landscape of our youth, fostering resilience, and building bridges of understanding in an interconnected world. I wholeheartedly support this initiative and believe it will have a lasting positive impact on the individuals and the community it serves, and I cannot wait to get started. 

Jeff Hinderscheid

Executive Director, Sol Treasures Psychology Instructor, Hartnell College