The summer heat is here, and I hope you're staying cool and hydrated 💧. Last week, I attended the Collision Conference, which gathered about 38,000 attendees from 117 countries 🌎. This was the last year it will be held in Toronto; it moves to Vancouver in 2025. The conference was notable for its diversity, with spaces for Indigenous and Black programming and speakers. There were 370 startups founded by Black or Indigenous entrepreneurs 👏. Other important topics included Ethical AI, Responsible AI, content creator and creator economy trends 📈.

""" 📢 We started short-form video! 📢

Spinning Forward has launched short-form vertical videos on Instagram 📹, which have been well received. Starting in July, we will increase our video content on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. If you have suggestions for stories, please reply to this email or send your thoughts to 📧.

In this issue, we do part 2 of our burnout series and speak with Toronto-based psychotherapist Jhanelle Peters about how creators of color can manage and recover from burnout 🧘‍♀️. There's growing concern about social media's impact on teens' mental health. During the Collision conference, Frank McCourt, who is bidding to buy TikTok, called social media an "epidemic" and supported U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy's call for warning labels about its harm to teenagers' mental health⚠️.

⌚Reading Time: 16 minutes

Flavian DeLima

Publisher & Editor, Spinning Forward


📢 Potential TikTok Buyer Calls Social Media an "Epidemic" in Toronto at Collision and supports Calls for adding Warning Labels on Social Media.

🎨💡 Interview: Psychotherapist, Jhanelle Peters talks with Spinning Forward about the 5 phases of burnout for creators and how to manage, prevent, and recover from burnout.

📸⚠️ The Dark Side of Instagram Fame for Young Teenage Girls: 92% of Followers are Adult Men.


"Many of us grow up striving for perfection. We grow up in an environment that expects you to be better than other people and work ten times harder. It's often ingrained to keep pushing ourselves and ignore the warming signs our body is telling us."

-Jhanelle Peters (@jpeterspsychotherapy), Toronto-based Psychotherapist, Interview with Spinning Forward


Potential TikTok Buyer Calls Social Media an "Epidemic" at Toronto Collision Conference, and Supports Warnings Labels

(Copyright Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Collision via Sportsfile)

Frank McCourt, the U.S. billionaire businessman bidding to buy TikTok, spoke at the Collision conference on June 18th in Toronto. He called social media an "epidemic" that is "associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents." McCourt agrees with the U.S. surgeon general in calling for adding health warnings when using social media in the same way they are used for tobacco products. He believes U.S. campaigns for regulation by parents who have lost children to the negative effects of social media will be done in Canada. He said, "I think exactly the same thing is going to happen here [in Canada], where parents are seeing the epidemic.”

McCourt was responding to an opinion piece written last week by the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, in The New York Times. Murthy urged Congress to require a warning label that social media use can harm teenagers' mental health. Social media companies currently don't allow kids under 13 to sign up for accounts, but children often get around this. Murthy writes:

The mental health crisis among young people is an emergency — and social media has emerged as an important contributor. Adolescents who spend more than three hours a day on social media face double the risk of anxiety and depression symptoms, and the average daily use in this age group, as of the summer of 2023, was 4.8 hours. Additionally, nearly half of adolescents say social media makes them feel worse about their bodies.

In a recent survey by Omidyar Network, a social change organization, 76 percent of Latino parents said a warning from the surgeon general would prompt them to take action, including limiting or monitoring their children's social media use. Murthy also wants Congress to pass legislation that "shields young people from online harassment, abuse, and exploitation and from exposure to extreme violence and sexual content that too often appears in algorithm-driven feeds.”

Many scientists and researchers who study whether time spent on social media contributes to poor mental health have reached mixed results, with no consensus indicating they are related. Dr. Mitch Prinstein, chief science officer at the American Psychological Association, told The New York Times that what matters most is what young people do when they are online; consuming content about self-harm has led to increased self-harming behavior.

On whether social media harms young people, Dr. Prinstein told Congress in 2023:

It depends. Is it candy or vegetables? If your child spends all day on social following The New York Times feed talking about it with friends, that's probably fine you know?

Most researchers say there is no scientific evidence to support the view that social media is dangerous for mental health. Instead, most agree that context matters, where good and bad things can happen.


Understanding Burnout with Jhanelle Peters: A Psychotherapist's Perspective

(Stock image)

In Part 1, we discussed burnout—what it is, its origins, and why it is so common among marginalized individuals, young people, women, and content creators.

In Part 2, of this issue, Spinning Forward talks with Jhanelle Peters, a Toronto-based psychotherapist and former Mental Health Clinician for the Toronto Raptors, about how content creators of color can effectively manage, prevent, and recover from burnout.

In Part 3, of the next issue, we ask a few creators about how they handle burnout

On Managing, Preventing and Recovering from Burnout

(Copyright Photo via Jhanelle Peters)

This interview with Jhanelle Peters has been edited for length and clarity.

Spinning Forward: What's your definition of burnout?

Jhanelle Peters: It's short and sweet. I think burnout is what happens when you forget about being human for too long.

Spinning Forward: Can you elaborate on what this means for content creators?

Jhanelle Peters: I think when you talk about younger age groups (Gen Z and Millennials), and what the demands look like in being a content creator and constantly needing to deliver, it's a lot. It’s easy to forget about being human, and that side of who you are and need to be. You forget about the things that you need to take care of yourself like how to recharge, reboot, and continue in a way that feels good.

Creators often focus on the views, the likes, the money, and other related expectations. When you forget about being human, that is usually when burnout happens. You often feel exhausted, and end up not being able to continue, even though it’s what you really enjoy.

Spinning Forward: What do you recommend people do when they are not in a happy place with their day job while also wanting to pursue something else like a side hustle?

Jhanelle Peters: There is some conflict when you think about the generations in a corporate setting today. Younger people want to take on leadership roles and do more. The older, more senior generation thinks they are not ready yet because age and waiting your turn are still a big thing. This conflict hinders workplace promotions and opportunities.

When turning a passion into a job, it's important to remember that not every passion stays a passion when it turns into a job. Sometimes passions are just something you do for fun. When you add numbers to it, this leads to stress and anxiety, which can contribute to burnout.

If you're going to start something, take the time to see what it actually means to turn something fun like baking into a business. Research, talk to others who have done it, and learn what it means to turn a passion or content into something that produces a financial result. Not everybody can dive right in; people need to do it bit by bit.

Coping with Online Negativity: Advice for BIPOC Content Creators

Spinning Forward: How should content creators of color deal with online negativity and hate, which can affect their performance while creating?

Jhanelle Peters: Remind yourself that there are unhappy people in this world. That's the negative part that comes with putting yourself out there on the Internet. You can't stop certain things from coming your way, but you can pay attention to how you absorb it.

Ask yourself why you're doing this and find those spaces and people that remind you of those reasons. Recognize some of those challenges of being a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and person of color) creator in these spaces.

I don't ever like saying you've got to have tough skin because comments hurt. You're a human being, and they're going to hurt. Know where you can shed your armor and where you can recharge.

There are people who love and appreciate you and those who will throw stones at what you do. Have a place outside of the digital world to relax and feel loved. Some content creators disable their comments to avoid negativity. It's important to craft your space in a way that works for you.

Spinning Forward: Is it a good idea to have some people who understand what you're going through and talk to them offline? Online hate disproportionately targets women, people of color, LGBTQ, disabled, and Indigenous people and creators and often wants to silence them and their audience.

Jhanelle Peters: Think of it this way: if you were to go into an office every single day and tell your friends that someone regularly makes hateful comments towards you, eventually someone would say, "I don't know if this is a great space for you." You might need some time to yourself. It doesn't sound like a beneficial environment.

It's the same thing online. Sometimes, you need those reminders like, "Hey, we wouldn't tell you to keep going back into that workplace." You might need to take a break from how you show up online.

It's okay if you want to pause, recharge, and reassess. Ask, "Who are the people that love what I do?" Seek support from those outside digital spaces to avoid the moving into the final phase of burnout, where you completely shut down.

There is a benefit to having people outside the online world, remind you what it is to be human, which involves people supporting and caring about you. It’s important to reflect and remember why you do what you do. Who do you need to talk to about it? What other preventative methods can you put in place so doing what you do doesn't hit you so hard?"

Unpacking the Five Phases of Burnout

(Copyright Photo via Jhanelle Peters)

Spinning Forward: You mentioned the last phase of burnout. Most people are not aware of the stages of burnout. What are the other phases?

Jhanelle Peters: Most people don't know there are phases of burnout. They just know the full-blown burnout phase, where they shut down. That's when people say, "I'm sick. I can't do anymore. I'm just tired of it."

The first phase is subtle dissatisfaction. This is where you think, "Well, this is life. Every content creator goes through this." You just tell yourself, "I just got to deal with it."

The second phase is subconscious disregard. You say, "I'm really tired. I'm exhausted." But you tell yourself that it's not really impacting you, even though you feel discomfort in your stomach or your heart beats faster before you post content. Subconscious disregard means you ignore what is happening to you.

The third phase is what we call conscious numbing. This is where your body speaks to you louder about what's going on. A headache turns into a migraine. Everything intensifies and your body signals that something's not right. You might say, "I need to lie on the couch and watch my favorite show or have some popcorn. Or if I eat this meal, I'll feel so much better." But that doesn't stop your body from giving you warning signs.

The fourth phase is anxious exhaustion. This is where your body speaks even louder saying: “You are not listening to me.” You feel exhaustion. You say things like, “I have got to slow down. I don't know if I want to get up today to post anything. It's been a week since I've done any of that work.” Your body intensifies saying, "I was warning you," and shifts to "I'm just going start protecting you."

The fifth phase is full-blown burnout. This is where you say, “I'm done. I can't do it anymore. I’m slowing down.” Your body says, “You didn't listen. You kept doing it. You numbed. You did this. I've got to protect you, and I've got to protect me." If you're a creator, you get sick and stay in bed all day, and put your passion aside because it's no longer enjoyable.

Balancing Passion and Profession: Preventing Burnout as a Content Creator

Spinning Forward: How do you suggest a young person not familiar with these phases deal with burnout before the last phase, which is complete burnout? Many creators reach a point where they're so dissatisfied and unhappy and they dread making content that is not very good.

Jhanelle Peters: Evaluate how much numbing is happening. How much subconscious disregard is happening where you're saying, "Oh, I'm just tired." How often does this happen? If that's the case, you might need to think about how much passion you have for what you're doing.

How much human care have I been giving myself? Because if I feel like I'm starting to be in robot mode, that's where a job starts feeling like something you really don't like. Think about when people say, "I really love what I do." This is because the human part and the job part mesh together, and they both have space. But when you start taking away the human part, and the passion and joy, you just have the job part left over. This is when people say, "Well, I'm just here to collect a paycheck."

If you're a content creator, guess who has to make the paycheck? You do. You have to figure out how to keep that balance. Pay attention to when it feels like you're no longer in the space. You might have to reevaluate. Instead of pumping out 30 videos a week or whatever it is that you are trying to do, maybe you might ask, "How many can I truly do in a day?"

What does it look like for you now? I think we live in a world that feels like perfection is all that we can showcase. I don't think people realize how much individuals gravitate to transparency and vulnerability. So, especially for a person of color, or a Black or Indigenous individual who says, "I'm tired."

The next time you go online and they say, "It's been rough. I know I haven't posted these things. I know I haven't been sharing. And I'm getting back to it, but I need to take care of me." I think people resonate with that. And they're like, "I'll wait for you. I get it."

People understand why there's less and less of you. You see comments from people who get it like, "At least I'm not the only one." This is real and most people understand. That's how I'd suggest evaluating before the final phase of burnout.

Spinning Forward: Do you have an exercise or hack or something that people should do to be more resilient so they don't get to the final stage of burnout? It's sometimes hard to evaluate when you feel burnt out.

Jhanelle Peters: Don't forget to pay attention to the things that you enjoyed doing before this became a job? Do you still do those things?

Maybe you go for daily walk or have your morning coffee that's your time. Ask yourself if the small important things are disappearing. Did you forget to eat and now it's three o'clock? When was the last time you actually took that hike?

Pay attention again to those human things that you cut out, bit by bit. When all you have left is the job, this is a sign that you're forgetting about you. You're forgetting about things make you passionate and human. This forgetting means you are moving towards burnout. My advice is different for everybody because each person has a different thing that keeps them going.

If you can't remember the last time you did those things that keep you going, then ask yourself, "How do I fit that thing back in? How do I make time for this? It's important to integrate "you" into your passion, into your job, and into the things that create stability. If you put "you" last, your job will feel really, really hard. When you start putting you first, I promise you, it will start feeling a little bit easier.

The Myth of Perfection: Embracing Progress Over Perfection

Spinning Forward: You've worked with the Toronto Raptors in the past. Elite athletes have a coach for every aspect of their life. How do the rest of us who don't have coaches better organize and schedule our lives to be our own coach?

Jhanelle Peters: If you worked in a corporate space and your boss said you have this meeting at one o'clock, you're showing up to that meeting at 12:50. Why don't we hold the same accountability and space and time for ourselves? If you said that at this time is when you're going to make sure you take a break and eat, why aren't you doing that?

You're right that athletes have everything carved out because the truth is, if things aren't scheduled for them, they can't perform. It's the same for each person. If athletes don't feed themselves properly, if they don't give themselves rest, if they don't take care of their bodies, they can't do anything on the court.

Wouldn't that be the same for you as a content creator? If you don't take care of your body, if you don't give yourself what you need, how are you going to pump out that content?

Spinning Forward: Do you have a call to action for young people, especially people of color and marginalized people who often feel overwhelmed?

Jhanelle Peters: Many of us grow up striving for perfection. We grow up in an environment that expects you to be better than other people and work ten times harder. It's often ingrained to keep pushing ourselves and ignore the warming signs our body is telling us.

I want people to know that perfection doesn't exist. Instead of seeking perfection, focus on making progress. This shift allows room for days when you miss the gym or don't post your favorite content. Perfection demands 100%, which isn't accurate. My advice is to swap out perfection for progress. This gives you more grace to take your time, reevaluate, reassess, and restart if you have to.


#DigitalGuillotine Campaign Urges Unfollowing Stars Over Israel-Gaza War 📱 The "digital guillotine," also referred to as "digitine," is a term associated with the 2024 Blockout movement (#blockout2024) that grew on TikTok. It calls for unfollowing or blocking celebrities on social media platforms as a form of protest against those who are perceived as indifferent or supportive of the Israel-Gaza war. The movement gained momentum after the 2024 Met Gala on May 6, 2024, where images of celebrities in luxury attire starkly contrasted with the devastation in Gaza.

✊ The boycott or blocking campaign aims to pressure public figures to use their large platforms to advocate for ceasefire calls. Hashtags like #letthemeatcake 🍰, #celebrityblocklist 🚫, and #blockout ✋ have been used to criticize high-profile figures for their silence on the ongoing humanitarian crisis. 🚫 Some celebrities being boycotted who have lost significant followers on social media include Drake, Taylor Swift, Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Styles, Zendaya, Mohamed Salah, Oprah Winfrey, Caitlyn Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Timothée Chalamet, Bad Bunny, Tiger Woods , Malala Yousafzai, Ariana Grande, and Lionel Messi .

😟📸💰 The Dark Side of Instagram Fame and Money for Young Teenage Girls: The Wall Street Journal reported on an American mother from the Midwest who started an Instagram account for her preteen daughter three years ago to share dance photos during the pandemic. As the account grew, brand sponsorships followed. However, 92% of the audience consisted of adult men who have a sexual interest in children, many of whom leave inappropriate comments and messages.

The mom found herself torn because the majority of the followers were adult men. She allowed the account to continue growing to support her daughter's aspirations to become an "influencer." The issue is that Instagram promotes content based on engagement metrics like likes and comments, which are highest from male accounts. This mother faced a dilemma similar to many other parents: balancing her daughter's safety and influencer dreams against the potential for thousands of dollars from sponsorships that could help pay for college.

📱Study Uncovers Instagram's Failure to Protect Teens from Adult Material: A recent investigation by The Wall Street Journal and Northeastern University professor, Laura Edelson revealed that Instagram consistently recommends sexual content to teenage users, despite Meta saying it restricts sensitive material for minors. The investigation, which ran for seven months, found that Instagram's suggested video streams, known as "Reels," pushed moderately racy content to new accounts registered to 13-year-olds and escalated to edgier material if the accounts spent more time on the suggested posts. After just 20 minutes, the accounts were dominated by adult creators, some advertising nude photos.

While Meta spokesperson Andy Stone stated that the company has significantly reduced the amount of sensitive content teens could be exposed to, internal analyses show that Instagram has long been aware of pushing adult content, gore, and hate speech to young users at higher rates than adults. The report suggests that creating a separate recommendation system for minors would be the most effective solution, but Meta has yet to take action on this proposal.

📊 Study: YouTube's Algorithm Recommends Right-Wing and Christian Content: A recent study from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue found that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm frequently promotes right-wing and Christian videos to users, even those without prior engagement with such content. By analyzing accounts interested in diverse topics like gaming, lifestyle gurus, and mommy vloggers, researchers found a consistent trend of recommending conservative news and religious videos. For example, male lifestyle personas were often directed to Fox News, irrespective of their initial viewing history. The patterns suggest that YouTube's algorithm may prioritize engagement and profits over mitigating political biases and echo chambers. It raises concerns about the impact on political biases, polarization, and the spread of harmful content to users. 📹🔍


What'd you think of today's issue? 👂 

💫💫💫💫💫 Just awesome

💫💫💫 Meh, do better

💫 You need to take it up a notch


Spinning Forward is an award-winning, trusted, local, independent media company that informs, engages, and uplifts aspiring content creators of color aged 16 to 34 in the Toronto region. Flavian DeLima (LinkedIn), the founder and publisher, launched Spinning Forward to help level the playing field in the online economy for creators of color.


Flavian DeLima, Hayden Tsoi, Taha Shaikh, Hailey Davidson, and Danishy Kuganesan

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