Lesson: Teaching Social Media Literacy
The Illusions Among Us
The social media penetration rate in North America is at 70%. Worldwide, the average rate is 42% (Social Media: Worldwide penetration rate 2018, n.d.). Just like in other media, the images portrayed on social media are often unattainable because of photoshop, filters, posing, or staging. We live in a world saturated with illusions–people on TV, movies, billboards, and magazine covers all represent false realities. In many ways, social media is no different. It’s unrealistic to expect to always look your best because you see people on social media who look that way.
Another issue that arises in social media consumption is the expectation that life should always be fun, happy, and full of excitement. This is a lie that social media would have us believe. People constantly post about their fun experiences and omit the rest, leaving others to feel their own life is boring. Everyone has mundane days and that is part of life. Like other forms of media, all pictures in social media are constructed.
Help your children to understand that the edited photos and exciting lives shown on social media are not an accurate portrayal of their everyday life.
The objectives of this lesson are:
- Teach your child to “deconstruct” or take apart what they see or hear on social media Help them to understand that all media can alter our perceptions of reality.
Are you looking for an aid to help discuss media literacy with younger children? Check out our children’s book Petra’s Power to See: A Media Literacy Adventure.