Switching Off | Carly Freeman

Teens in the United States can lead more meaningful lives by overcoming negative attitudes about death.

Death is a taboo topic. Much like sex (the beginning of life), death (the end of life) is a subject that can be uncomfortable to discuss. Without acknowledging our own death we cannot truly ‘live our lives to the fullest’. By creating a space to talk about this existential topic, we can begin to understand where we connect together and how we fit into the grand scheme of life. switching off creates a space for teens in the United States to lead more meaningful lives by overcoming negative attitudes about death.

Generation Z is a whole new generation. One we have never seen before. With technology and endless access at their fingertips, they are exposed to more information than any other generation has been in the past. I chose to create an app. This is something that is easily accessible to this specific group. Through research I found that this generation does a majority of their learning alone and online. They like to be in control of their own experiences. Because of this, I decided that the app would be a 30 day self guided journey to educate and discuss ideas and topics around death. Overall, it is there to limit death anxiety and diminish the taboo. Like Confucius stated, “if we don’t know life, how can we know death?”.


At the start of my process I watched videos and read articles on different ways people understand and discuss death through a psychology lense. I then studied how Gen Z was categorized and interacted as a generation through ethnography. And lastly, I looked at how religion in the United States has evolved how death is understood. By pinpointing areas that stood out in all three lenses, I created this app that encourages discussion and education around death.