In this lesson, we focus on the impact social media can have on their future. Making social media mistakes is one thing, but knowing how to react or respond is another issue in itself. It is important for kids to understand they are going to make mistakes, intentional or not, and they need to have a strategy in place for if/when. How students react will make all of the difference for their digital footprint, online reputation, and search results. Understanding media bias and perspective is another critical skill that one must possess in order to appropriately sift through the massive amounts of information that is available each and every day.
To begin, have students write a reflection on the following prompt:
- If you were asked to define your social media identity in 3 sentences or less, what would you say?
On the board, write all the names of the most popular social media platforms for teenagers in a table-like fashion:
Have students access those social media accounts and report the number of followers they have on each platform, then ask the class the follow up questions:
Why is the number of followers you have important?
Have you ever posted something on social media for the sole reason of getting likes from your followers?
Does having a lot of followers make you feel like you have a lot of friends?
What is the difference between influencers and leaders?