Essena explains how "fake" the online world is and how she could spend hours trying to achieve the perfect looking picture and smile, even though she felt miserable and lonely underneath. She also explains also how easy it is for young people to get sucked into comparing their lives with those of these "perfect" looking 'Instagrammers' who then strive to achieve the same fame and popularity, when in reality what people don't know, is that life behind the screen can be very depressing and the 'numbers', no matter how high they get, are never enough.
Here are some discussion prompts you can use with your students about their thoughts on this video and their own online lives:
- Do you agree that social media is fake? Why/why not?
- Do you think Essena was right to quit social media? Why/why not?
- Why do you think people crave followers and likes on social media?
- Why is there such pressure to post perfect looking pictures online or make your life look perfect?
- Why do you think some people who have a seemingly perfect life on social media are still depressed?
- What is the worst thing about social media?
- Why do you have social media accounts?
- Do you agree that social media is just a business?
- Do you ever get jealous seeing other peoples' lives on social media?
- Would you ever consider quitting social media? Why/why not?
It's an interesting conversation, and some of the best people to talk about this with are the ones growing up with social media - our students.
I'd love to know what you think too: do you think people are pressured to present themselves as "perfect" online and why? Please let me know in the comments!