Social Media Impacts


Essential Question: How does Social Media affect individuals and society?

: Present and Discuss Mind Maps, view Social Dilemma Segment, Circle Questions, Exit Forms
Learning Objectives: Students will:

  • Identify the role of social media in their lives.

  • Reflect on the positive and negative effects social media use has on their relationships.

  • Recognize "red flag" feelings when using social media.

Summary: For most middle schoolers, being on social media can mean connecting with friends, sharing pictures, and keeping up-to-date. But it can also mean big-time distractions, social pressures, and more. Help students navigate the different feelings they may already be experiencing on social media.

4 Why do we need Social Media Literacy?

In Praise of Mind Maps (LucidChart is our favorite tool)

Individual and Group-Made Mind Maps

We use mind maps in two ways. At left, a "group mind map" is developed like this:

  1. After a discussion, students complete an "exit ticket" form where they contribute items they recall to a list.

  2. Submitted items are shared and students are asked to append them to a starter mind map, and encouraged to create sub-categories.

  3. A group mind-map is developed, with students suggesting items and categories from their own maps.

  4. We look together at the map, and may make further discoveries. For example, in the map at left, we discovered that the benefits of smartphones included a wide range of apps, but that the negative impacts were almost all associated with social media.

Teacher-Made Maps

The maps below are among those listed at right that were developed based on The Social Dilemma. These are a great way to visualize relationships, and can evolve over time (and as the movie proceeds).

For example, the two diagrams below help students who are not avid social media users understand what a feed contains. The diagram at left shows the kind of material in a feed, and the one at right highlights how the algorithm makes all the decisions about what will show up, and chooses to boost conspiracy group posts.

  1. Crowdsourcing

  2. You are the Product I

  3. 3 Goals of Algorithms II

  4. Crowdsourcing 2

  5. You are the Product 2 III

  6. Hurting Teens IV

  7. The Algorithm V

  8. Misinformation and Conspiracy VI