Social Media Activity

This activity helps participants to identify how social media perpetuates prejudice but also how social media can be used to combat prejudice.

Objective

The goal of the activity is for students to consider whether social media has increased, decreased, or has no overall effect on stereotypic beliefs and prejudicial attitudes.

Estimated Time

15-30 minutes if completed in class.  You can also have students answer the discussion questions on their own and bring their responses to class to discuss. 

Group Size

This activity can be used for a class of any size; for larger classes, have the students answer the discussion questions out of class and discuss their answers as a whole class or in small discussion groups.

Instructions

Have students individually access websites to find posts that either reflect negative stereotypes and/or prejudiced attitudes or posts that take a social justice perspective on the topic (e.g., the site suggests ways to combat these attitudes and beliefs).  Students can be assigned to the type of post they are looking for or can choose based on their own interests.  To find sites on Facebook, type in key words such as “racism,” “sexism,” or “homophobia,” “hate Obama” “politically correct” or “Muslim terrorist.”  On Twitter, some search suggestions include “I’m not racist, but,” “ageism and Hillary Clinton,” “everyday sexism,” or “UNL Haters.”  After students find the post, they individually answer the discussion questions; the instructor then leads a discussion with the entire class.
 

Materials: