Exploring Self Image and Identity with Year 7

7DW carried out their Online Digital lesson in tutor time today. We were looking at Self Image and Identity as part of the lesson the students wrote  words on Post-it notes that they would use to describe their partner in the activity.

We use the internet and social media every day. We check our phones, post messages and pictures, and whether we realise it or not, we are building a digital personality for ourselves online. Digital media can be great – it can help us stay in touch with friends, help us with our schoolwork, and help our future careers – but it also has risks with how we portray ourselves online.

How would you feel if you had to give up social media for a day? No phone, no internet, no Facebook, no Tweets! Could you survive? Sometimes we can feel pressure by using social media and that ‘FOMO feeling’ – fear of missing out – if we are not staying up to date with conversations, gossip, and events with our friends.

Our online digital personality and image and our real life can often be quite different. As teenagers, we have more influences than ever before; we like to keep up to date with the latest fashions, makeup, trends, but there are lots of pressures on teenagers to be influenced by things we see on social media. Sometimes we experiment with our online identity, making ourselves appear what we want other people to think we are like, using filters, apps, and maybe not being too honest about ourselves, trying to portray an image that we are not.

How many friends do you have on Facebook? 20, 50, 100, over 100? Are they real friends? Do you really know them all? Think about how many friends you have on there; do you have regular conversations with them or do you just ‘Like’ posts or keep them as friends to keep up to date with the latest gossip? It’s great to share things on social media, but what happens when your ‘friends’ make negative comments? Would you know how to deal with it? And how can you make your contributions to other people’s image positive?

There are laws that govern content that we put online to help us stay safe; some of these laws are about sexual content and are there to help us keep safe online. Everyone is an individual and how we show our identity will be different, dependent on our gender culture or social group. There are lots of positive role models out there to look up to, to help us promote a positive self-image.