Dancing for Seasonal Depression

Project Rationale

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or more commonly seasonal depression, effect around 33 percent of college students according to Bates College. Unfortunately, I have noticed over the years that I am in the 33 percent. The main goal of Dancing for Seasonal Depression is to increase awareness because this widely experienced disorder goes unknown. A secondary goal of the video is to alleviate some of the symptoms with laughter. The project was directed at Rose-Hulman students, Rose staff and other college students. I expect the viewers to share the video and use the information learned to enhance life during the winter. Dancing for Seasonal Depression fits Shirky’s definition of civic value because it has “value created by the participants but enjoyed by society as a whole.” Carrie and I used our awkwardness, fantastic dancing skills and guest stars to make society conscious of reoccurring seasonal depression. People can also use our video to cheer up themselves or others.

Our project used a video with dancing and facts. It was shared to the world on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Doing so allows our video to be easily spread to friends, family and even strangers. We chose to make a video because our personalities are able to shine through and catch the attention of viewers which would not have been as effective with an infographic. The video includes facts throughout to provide a valuable content and the dancing provides a humorous aspect to increase the spreadibility.

Dancing for Seasonal Depression takes advantage of the easy to share formats of YouTube to spread across social media. Carrie and I were mindful of Jenkin’s ideas of spreadibility, mainly its recognized “importance of the social connections among individuals”, while creating our project. Without all of our Rose friends on social media, the Rose specific video would not have spread as well. The social media spread is amplified every time a friend likes or shares our posts. One share of the video was due to its practical value which was created by the interesting facts about seasonal depression (Konnikova). She found the information useful and can be applied to the many conversations had related to seasonal depression during winter quarter. Also in Konnikova’s article, the obvious aspect Carrie and I used was oddity. Our ridiculous accents and dance moves caused the video to “stick in your mind” and many times they were mocked but all in good fun. Without accents, the introduction might have been boring to the audience and would not have watched past the first 30 seconds.

I am proud of how much Dancing for Seasonal Depression has in less than 24 hours. Currently, the YouTube video has over 300 views and my Facebook post has 2 shares along with multiple likes. I received text messages from friends and even my dad commenting on the video. So far the response has been great! I learned that media needs certain aspects in order to spread well. Also, it is necessary to keep your audience in mind while making spreadable media.

It’s spreading:

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One thought on “Dancing for Seasonal Depression

  1. This is my dream. I have taught this project, like, a hundred times, and NO ONE ever wants to dance! You go girls. And yes, of course I will dance! You’ll also want to incorporate facts and strategies somehow. Maybe with little pop ups like they had in the recycling flash mob video? I think if you get enough dancing nerds, this could go viral. 🙂


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