Ease your student supervision speed bumps.

Cultivating Digital Wellness Skills in College Students

How did you feel the last time you looked at Facebook vs Instagram vs Pinterest?

What emotions and experiences are common when you log on? 

When was the last time you left your phone at your house or in car – knowing you wouldn’t be able to get to it later in the day?

What is the last thing you do before you go to bed? What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Ever try to not check your phone/certain social media sites for an hour, a day, a week? 

How would you rate your digital wellness on a scale of 1-10?

This post will be a digital wellness check-up.


I do not write this post as a perfect technology user – but I do actively “check-in” with my emotional cues and usage patterns. How about you? 

In this post I will share a number of tools I use to teach college students on cultivating digital wellness skills. Some of these are as simple as the questions posted above. Others are YouTube videos and articles, as well as a brief tutorial I created. 

Reflection Tutorial

Below is a 15 minute reflective tutorial that will challenge and explore your use of technology. The check-up includes ways you can self-diagnose areas for improved digital wellness.

Digital Wellness Tools

I use a variety of tools in my courses, as well as speaking engagements that shine light on digital wellness. These are all found on YouTube and easy to share, show and discuss with your college students.

Additional Articles

Final Reflection on Digital Wellness

Research has discovered that college students that are already struggling with depression and stress are also more likely to be triggered by social media tools (Pempek, et al., 2009). Experiencing bullying online also has negative consequences into college and beyond (Klomek, et al., 2010). Read more about these studies and other dark sides of social media (here).

We each have our own ceiling for managing and being impacted by technology tools like social media. You might be completely fine checking you phone before bed. For others this could be game changer in getting better sleep.

Screenshot 2016-02-24 16.27.32While this post holds tools and tactics to use with college students, if you are educator reading this – you too may need to “check-in” with how you are or are not impacted by social media. 

Take care of yourself no matter the place: online and on-campus.


Dr. Josie Ahlquist 

About Josie

I’m Dr. Josie Ahlquist—a digital engagement and leadership consultant, researcher, educator, and author. I’m passionate about helping people and organizations find purposeful ways to connect, engage, and tell their unique story. I provide consulting, executive coaching, and training for campuses, companies, and organizations that want to learn how to humanize technology tools and build effective and authentic online communities.

My blog and podcast have been recognized by EdTech Magazine, Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education. My book, Digital Leadership in Higher Education, was published in 2020 and was listed as a #1 new release for college and university student life. I have been growing my consultancy since 2013 and am based in Los Angeles. When I’m not helping clients lead online, you might find me training for a triathlon, spoiling my nieces and nephews, or exploring with my husband and our rescue dogs in our new RV called Lady Hawk.

I’d love to connect! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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Rebekah Tilley

Assistant Vice President, University of Iowa Center for Advancement

Rebekah Tilley is the assistant vice president of communication and marketing for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement (UICA). In that role she supports fundraising and alumni engagement efforts for the university, including its CASE Gold winning Iowa Magazine, and serves UICA in a variety of strategic communication efforts.

Previously she was the director of strategic communication for the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, and the director of communication for the University of Kentucky College of Law. She is a Kentucky native and a proud alum of the University of Kentucky.

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