#Is this real life?

Lesson Introduction

#Question Mark. While undoubtedly a way to stay connected, Social Media can also undermine our sense of purpose…


A hangout for most of today’s youth, social media is a mixed bag, especially when it comes to the effect of social media on teenagers, those pros and cons are particularly significant.

On the plus side, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat can be lifesavers for teens who feel isolated or marginalized. These groups include LGBTQ teens and teenagers struggling with mental health issues. In addition, researchers have found many positive effects of social media on friendships.

But frequent use of social media among teenagers and young adults has many less positive consequences. These include cyberbullying, negative self-image and body image, social media addiction, and less time spent doing healthy, real-world activities.

 Social or Anti-Social by John Hanson

John Hanson, 2012 — in response to the bullying of Chloe Fergusson.

How can you judge me.
If we haven’t met?
Do you know my life story,
Or even want to?
Why do my comments
Incite your anger?
They are meant for the eyes of others
Who know me better,
And have lived my life.
I have no wish to upset you,
To abuse or disrespect you.
So why do you comment
With sarcasm and contempt?
Do you hate expression
Or are you just expressing hatred?
At an innocent post by me
Meant only for friends,
Expressing my feelings
Through freedom of expression

social networking
social media conversations
The Effect of Social Media on Teenagers:
  1. Have you heard of screen induced depression?
  2. Do you struggle with social media comparisons?
  3. Does social media reinforce destructive tendencies (eating disorders, drinking, cutting) ?
  4. Do you think social media is helpful or harmful in identity formation?
  5. Do you feel isolated by social media — i.e., not popular, outside the main circle, etc.
  6. Is sharing or liking something on social media the same as taking action?
  7. Do you obsessively check your posts for likes?
  8. Have you ever had anxiety around a post you put up?
  9. Are you addicted to social media?
  10. What is the longest you have gone without your phone?
  11. Would you ever do a 24-48 hour break from social media?

Directions for Writing Your Own Poem

Things to Consider:

Consider the questions posed above.  What is your relationship to social media? How do you use it? Do you question your own practices?

Name three examples:

  1. I wake up and look at my phone first thing
  2. I turn my phone off when I go to bed
  3. My mood is impacted by how many texts, tweets, and likes I got in the day

Now consider how you might use social media as more than a distraction. For example:

  1. I can organize a group of youth around a social justice issue
  2. I can share a poem that speaks to an issue that is important
  3. I can use my kindness to support posts of someone less popular than me and help them feel accepted.

Now in the brainstorm, think of images that can convey the feelings/questions above. I.e, provide an image and a feeling combination using the above brainstorm as your starting place — seed words/inspirations


Borrow from one of the examples on this page and use the brainstorm above to write a poem about social media and/or the health of your relationship to it

sphere of influence

Spreading Lies


I received much misinformation yesterday
A friend’s interpretation of one of their friend’s conversations
borrowed through eavesdropping of a neighbor

I received confirmation yesterday that it was a
supposed observation, and had legitimate validation
that it was no fabrication

However, it caused drama and upheaval
The second I posted this misinformation on social media.
Eighteen minutes later I unposted it
Luckily only six hundred and forty-two people now think I am a liar.

****Now It is your turn****

Audio & Video Inspiration


Dying to be Seen

Tell me I’m pretty

Buy me something silly
That’ll never be of use
Just an excuse
To capture and to post
See what I like the most
Playing it off like I don’t care
When for hours I stare
Awaiting that satisfaction
Of being the main attraction
Thinking I’m above it
But I’m really caught in it
Scrolling and refreshing
Tends to get depressing
But it’s hard to let go
When your subconscious came to know
That your greatest conviction
Is a social media addiction


soical media chart

Online Status

The pressurized exposure fuels
this desperation,
our look-a-likes following the real deal,
pink-faced-doll you ought to be,
not an insignificant part of the equation

Would you sell a soul for attention,
manifest the altar for the true believers,
riding the high horse to these underachievers?

This is not where my conviction lies,
I rather breathe death than find truth;
the nonsense of what “we” are

Wake up and smell the real deal,
the lucky few are the ones
who are able to feel,
free in this totalitarian
social-media-centered society

Would you sell your soul for attention,
manifest the altar for the true believers,
riding the high horse to these underachievers

This structure will inevitably cave,
what will you do with what you knew;
be proud or be ashamed

Would you sell a soul for attention,
manifest the altar for the true believers,
riding the high horse to these underachievers

This nonsense

is what we are


Rebecca T., Grade 9

like this post


#fake #me #desperatewannabe,
Instagram selfie Facebook lies,
Snapchat fraud did you see
#truth #nothing #sadnessinmyeyes?

baby birdie

Selfie-Made Prison!

No visible handcuffs
no physical confinement
no prison warders
no time for regular meals
relaxation is always postponed
socialization with family and friends
is out of bounds!

Being away from your phone is prohibited
chatting must continue at all times
in safe and dangerous places!
driving is not an excuse sound enough
to block you from responding to messages
don’t worry at all about accidents!
many times work must wait
it is shelved in the non-priority section!
sleeping late is part of the game

Open your eyes widely!
social media is strategically and deliberately
putting handcuffs on your mind!
your soul is persuasively arrested
using attractive programs and packages
continuous overuse of media services
you are sentenced and serve a punishment
you are thrown into the prison of addiction!
but you don’t see it happening!

Media owners and managers
as your clients sip the sweetness
hidden in consumption of media services
warn them about the torture in addiction prisons!


The Net


Isn’t it scary
how I can go to google
and find out
everything I need to know
about who I am?

I no longer need
to define my being
if the internet
can simply do it for me

Social media tells me
everything I need
to know about how
to not be this ugly cow
that I grew up
thinking I was

Now I know
I’m an autumn
and dark lipstick
is the one for me
and my brows need
to be a little less bushy

Facebook tells me
that everyone has
better kinder more lovely
friends than me
and that I’m
not needed
here anymore

And if I really look
for long enough
google will tell me
that I’m a social outcast
who never had friends
*cue pictures of
my lonely 8th grade

Now I know
that I don’t need
to look in my heart
to find out who
I truly am,
I only have
to look as far
as the internet