Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Internet

There is information on the web all around us that tries luring readers in with outlandish headings and unrealistic information that people try portraying as factual advice. When looking up any topic, individuals need to be aware of where they are getting their knowledge and make sure the website’s statements are backed up by references and studies. While researching about the issue of sleep in college students I have found myself on weird websites or pages on social media that are just not reliable. In my last post, Don’t Sleep on the Truth, I talked about some dependable pages that college students can use on social media to learn about good research studies on sleep. Sites like these are incredibly important to social media users especially when anyone can make a page and post anything they want on it. Having go-to pages that you know have reliable advice can help users know what data is factual and what may just be click-bait.

As I talked about in my first post, More Z’s Can Mean More A’s, college students rarely get enough sleep and they need to realize how negatively this can impact their physical, mental and emotional health. This issue is incredibly important to me and I want to be able to provide the most helpful and authentic guidance to students as I possibly can. I have watched some helpful videos that will assist me with my posts to ensure I am using my platform in a safe and legal way. As I create social media pages and post more about sleep and college students I want to ensure I am spreading factual information to individuals and providing quality websites they can use to get more helpful tips.

One particular TedTalk that has given me a lot of insight on things I should look out for when using social media and creating websites is Del Harvey’s Protecting Twitter Users (sometimes from themselves). This video has made me more aware that we don’t always know what someone is doing online. Del’s TedTalk has helped me realize the importance of ensuring there are no harmful comments on my social media posts and webpages towards individuals. I will also make sure I look out for any posts or comments that look like spam and report it if I determine that it is. Del’s video has helped me understand that I need to plan for the worst and make sure I am using language in my posts that makes sense and has the least likelihood of being misunderstood by my readers. The scariest part of this video is when Del talks about the geodata that sometimes comes encrypted when posting photos. Although Twitter has stripped this from their website I need to ensure that the websites I am posting on are not putting myself in danger.

After watching Juan Enriquez’s TedTalk about posting online and it being there forever I have made a mental note of some of the messages Juan had to share. I need to be very careful what I post on social media and guarantee I am using reliable sources and spreading factual information instead of people’s personal opinions. I will use sources that have studies to back up their statements and make sure I am receiving the information from someone with a background in the field. I know the things I post online will be there forever and I don’t want to be spreading any false information to individuals.

I also got a lot out of Jennifer Golbeck’s TedTalk called The Curly Fry Conundrum: Why Social Media “Likes” Say More than You Might Think. I will make sure I am sticking to my topic and not posting personal information that I do not want the world wide web knowing, because as Jennifer mentioned I may not realize what the internet is doing with my information. Getting enough sleep for college students is a major issue with my generation, but sharing personal information could categorize myself in ways I do not want people knowing. I also want to ensure I am not posting about sleep using any bias that I may have. I want to look at the “whole picture” and make sure I am posting information both positive and negative even if many of the studies I have found show college students are not getting enough sleep. I also don’t want any of the information I share to give readers any idea of what some of my characteristics are. I want to stick solely to the topic of sleep and college students, while providing some personal examples but not straying too far from my main focus.

A TedTalk that I found to be very inspiring and important for individuals who are creating or sharing their art on the internet to watch is Lawrence Lessig’s TedTalk on Laws that Choke Creativity. Lawrence talks about how BMI changed broadcasting by making works public domain and providing it for free to their subscribers. Similar to BMI, Lawrence was a lawyer who founded Creative Commons, which is a nonprofit that offers free creative works that people can build onto and share without getting in trouble for copyright. These works published on Creative Commons provide people the chance to give back and help others who are interested in the same subject. For a lot of the posts that I have published I have given credit to the pages and websites that I have gotten my information off of, but I have also found works in the public domain that have been really helpful. I believe people should embrace Creative Commons and use it to publish their work more because it’s going to help future generations and allow for more inspiring work to be created. I want to create pages and websites that individuals are able to gain something from and maybe even make something better than mine. I hope more people and companies begin publishing works for the public to use rather than generating works only for the money.

I have set up an Instagram account, called sleep8feelgr8, to create a page on that individuals can find quality statistics and reliable facts about sleep pertaining to college students. I find that majority of college students have an Instagram account and I believe this social media site is a great platform to raise awareness for getting enough sleep in college. Using the guidance from these TedTalks I will make sure my page uses proper citations, referencing and dependable sources. I will continue to monitor my pages to ensure the safety of not only myself but also of my readers. I am so excited to take what I have learned from these videos to make my blogs and social media sites better!


Don’t Sleep on the Truth

With sleep being such a large topic for research, there is constantly new information being put on the internet. In my last post I talked about how sleep helps protect your mental health, physical health, overall quality of life, and even your safety. My goal for this next post is to leave college students feeling like they can identify whether the sleep advice they are getting is truthful and reliable. Many college students use social media and easily accessible websites to get current information on tons of different topics, so I will be analyzing different social media websites to determine whether these outlets are providing quality advice that college students should believe.


As a social networking site that anyone can create a page on, it is important to know whether the source is credible. I did find a great page that individuals looking for information about sleep could rely on. The page is run by Dr. Michael Breus who is a Clinical Psychologist as well as a Diplomat for the American Board of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The page is called The Sleep Doctor and Dr. Michael Breus posts his podcasts, articles and even just helpful tips to fall asleep. When searching Facebook for quality sources I highly suggest determining whether the page is verified. When looking at The Sleep Doctor’s page there is a blue checkmark, which is Facebook’s way of informing users that the page is authentic for the public figure, media company or brand it is claiming. It is important to stray away from the pages that don’t present information about the author or just post pictures with text on it. Looking for the blue checkmark and verifying the author is a reliable source by looking at their qualifications is a great way to determine credibility.


Similar to Facebook, Twitter allows anyone to create a profile about sleep whether they have reliable information or not. Many of the pages I found on Twitter are pages that attempt to provide quick information in 240 characters or less in tweets, often not providing links to where the information was received. If profiles do not provide references or have verified profiles (blue checkmark) it is difficult to determine whether their tweets should be trusted. A popular page is called the Sleep Well Blog, which uses hashtags and links to their blog for information on sleep disorders. However, the links are now unavailable, making the information they are giving followers unclear whether the statistics are accurate. Without knowing the background of the author it is very hard to tell whether the information is authentic research. However, there are profiles on Twitter that provide reliable information about sleep, such as the National Sleep Foundation, the Academy of Sleep Med and Dr. Michael Breus (The Sleep Doctor) who all have verified accounts on Twitter. The National Sleep Foundation is a credible source because it is a nonprofit in the United States that promotes the public’s understanding of sleep and sleep disorders while also sponsoring research in the sleep field. Individuals with sleep disorders could use this profile to get new information about research outcomes and helpful advice about their sleep disorder. The Academy of Sleep Med on Twitter, also known as the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, is a professional society in the United States that focuses mainly on sleep disorders and circadian rhythms. The AASM accredits companies for adhering to the AASM standards. The AASM profile on Twitter is a great spot to start when looking for credible sources about sleep because they post articles from companies they have accredited. In addition, there are lots of profiles such as the Sleep Research Society who are not verified but provide links to their website. After checking out the Sleep Research Society’s website and seeing the different research, advocacy and events they hold I have determined that their Twitter feed provides reliable research outcomes.


Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is full of images, gifs and videos on virtually any topic. When I looked up sleep facts in the search bar I had 213 search results. I want to help the average user be able to narrow down their searches to information that is reliable and useful. Pinterest is more of a middle-man for individuals looking for advice about sleep. By clicking on the images people have pinned there is often a link that will redirect you to their website. Many of the links lead to people’s personal blogs, which do not always provide information on the blogger. However, the first image I clicked on lead me to Vanessa Rae Romero’s blog called Healthy Living How To where she talks about her personal health issues and hopes to inspire individuals to find healthier habits. Her blog gets personal but also has a lot of helpful habits she has found to personally be successful. Her blog provides real life problems and helpful reviews of products she has found to be beneficial to her. In addition, I came across an image provided by the Bustle, which is a publisher company aimed mostly at millennial women as their audience. Their post called 5 Psychological Tricks for When You Can’t Sleep provides worthwhile tips for individuals having a hard time sleeping. The Bustle is a trustworthy source because they provide credible references to the information they are publishing, such as different University’s research, the Sleep Foundation and even Medical Doctor’s insights.

Ultimately, I want college students to feel like they can find credible information on sleep within the social media sites most already use daily. It is important to look deeper into pages to determine the reliability of the publisher, such as clicking the links provided, searching the author’s name and even making sure the page is verified on Facebook or Twitter. In addition, checking the sources that pages are using it a great tool to determine whether the advice is creditable. Research and helpful information on sleep is all around us, we just need to know how to separate the dependable information from clickbait.