Consume – Social Media

More and more of the information we read is read online. Social media and web pages have replaced newspapers, and even TV, for many of us and our learners. 
It is important to be critical of everything we read, whether it is online or not. Information can be misleading and we should support our learners to understand, analyse and evaluate all that they consume.

This could be explored through Literacy and English LIT x-18a – Recognise the difference between fact and opinion and progressing to evaluative comments about relevance reliability and credibility with appropriate justification


The risks:

  • believing false reporting or ‘fake news’ – especially harmful if it relates to health or wellbeing
  • spreading misinformation – social media makes it easier to share a story to a large audience than ever before
  • viewing inappropriate or harmful content
  • targeted advertising or influencer ‘promotions’ 
  • ‘rabbit holes’, ‘echo chambers’ and other behaviours linked to viewing linked posts that lead to other
  • viewing misrepresented or ‘photoshopped’ images that may impact on body image

Becoming cyber resilient is the first step to being safer online. Talk to your learners about the devices and accounts that they use to access online information:

  • Ensure they have a secure login, such as password or 2-factor authentication
  • Have they set up account recovery details in case their account is hacked
  • Explore their social media profile – what is public and private? Are they aware of any risks or benefits?
  • Make them aware of any potential risks, such as clicking links in posts and on web pages – these could lead to phishing or malware
  • If they are accessing their information on social media, there are usually filter settings in the security and privacy settings for the platform – these can be used to reduce the content from certain sources, sites or profiles
  • If content is harmful or malicious – do they know how to report it?

Being more cyber resilient reduces the risk of internet safety issues arising. We all want the internet to be a more welcoming space for children and young people and that is why we promote this positive message of safe, smart and kind.

With your learners:

  • Ensure that learners are aware of the risks of social media content – it could be offensive, harmful or bullying
  • Teach them how to understand, analyse and evaluate information they read online. You may already be doing this with physical texts, such as books, but it is important to make the learning contextual.
  • Explore the motives for social media content – who has created it and for what purpose?

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