Exploring Identity Online: Four Lesson Plans for Educators

The online world comes with endless opportunities, but it can also place a huge amount of pressure on young people at a time when they are exploring and developing their identity.

The Diana Award, in partnership with ASKfm and psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, has explored how the online world is shaping young people’s sense of self. Young people have described the pressures they face living their lives online: to fit in with others, look and behave a certain way, and be constantly connected in order to gain social currency in the form of likes, retweets, favourites and comments.

‘As a result, 63% of young people age 13-17 say they think people behave differently online to the way they do offline. Half of young people say they feel pressured to reply to people’s messages quickly, and a quarter say they feel they have to ‘like’ things online that they don’t actually like. To help young people tackle this pressure to fit in online, The Diana Award has created this series of lessons designed to encourage students to reflect on their online and offline identities.’

There are four lesson plans to choose from. The first can be delivered as a stand-alone session, as it gives an overview of the topic and explores how social media can have an impact on our sense of self. The following three lesson plans can be delivered as optional add-on sessions, delving further into issues such as conforming to societal expectations online, the difference between how we present ourselves online vs offline, and gender inequalities and expectations in an online environment.

You can find the described materials via this link: ASKfm Educators Guide.