Does Social Media Add Value To Your Life?
Students will be able to identify the dangers and advantages of using social media, by viewing a TED Talk, responding to the big ideas in the talk, and completing an activity.

Today’s Activities

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Engage

How much time are you spending on Social media?

How much time do you currently spend on social media?  Have you considered both the positive and negative effects of social media on your life?

Read this short article:

What does it actually mean to “be yourself” or to “be “real”? Those are deep thoughts for anybody. For youth today, these questions matter online, too. Let’s explore why some people create different or alternate personas for themselves online and on social media

Watch

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Explore

What is the problem or question? How might I find out more or solve it?

Take a social media break as you explore the dangers of social media addiction on the human brain and its harmful effects on society. College scholar Amber Quinney shares with you how she lost her appetite for virtual interaction through her year-long social media fast. Through her talk, learn 

Watch this Ted Talk for youth

Print out these questions to answer as you watch the ted talk.

Then,  review the google slides and respond with an essay

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Explain

How have I solved the problem or answered the question? What evidence supports my claim?

What others find about us online shapes who they think we are and how they feel about us. But do you know what kinds of tracks they’ve already left? Learn about their digital footprints and the steps they can take in the future to shape what others find and see about them online.

Fill this out

WHAT IS A DIGITAL FOOTPRINT?

All the information online about a person either posted by that person or others, intentionally or unintentionally.

KNOW YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT

  • It’s growing. Your footprint expands as your information is copied and passed on, making it more searchable and viewable to a large invisible audience.
  • It’s not just up to you. When other people – like your friends, companies, or groups you belong to – track, post, or share information about you, it becomes part of your footprint.
  • It’s permanent. Because it’s archived in a variety of ways and passed on by others, it doesn’t ever go away.
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Elaborate

How can information you post online affect your future opportunities?  Read this article for an example:

What do you think about Harvard’s decision? 

This isn’t the first time this has happened. How do you think we can help prevent this situation in the future?

Digital Footprint Activity

It’s important to be aware of the impression we make online, both as kids and adults. Evaluate your own digital footprint and decide: What impression do you think you make? Get one or more family members together to help. Read the setup before doing the activity together!

SETUP

Read aloud: When we think about the things we share online—pictures, posts, text messages, and comments—we get a snapshot of our digital footprints. Looking at our online selves from the outside, what would our impression be? Answering the questions below can give us an idea of how others might see us online.

ACTIVITY

Read aloud: After you read and answer the questions as honestly as possible, talk about the kind of impression you make online. Then we can talk about the impression we might be making. 

  • Do I share pictures of other people without permission? (Grown-ups: This includes sharing pictures of kids.) 
  • Do I make jokes in texts, posts, or comments that are often misunderstood?
  • Do I make negative comments about people anywhere online?
  • Do I post to try to create a perfect appearance?
  • Do I ever post anonymously or use anonymous apps to talk about others?
  • Do I ever post pictures of parties or events that I know some of my friends weren’t invited to?
  • Do I ever post or text something that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face?

Think and talk about your answers. What impression do you think you make online? Is there anything you want to do differently in the future?

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Extend

Read this list of advantages and disadvantages of social media for society.  Does the positive outweigh the negative?

Review this activity to evaluate whether social media is an effective tool for social action:

Did you do today’s activities?

Push the button below to let us know you’ve completed the activities below:

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Teaching Tips

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Accessibility Feature

Turning on transcripts for YouTube Videos [PDF]

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