Facing Facebook

flickr photo shared by stoneysteiner under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license


Since Facebook was launched in 2004, it’s been a space to share openly about what we eat, where we travel and who we spend time with. Social media challenges the definition of the word “friend” as our circles have grown to include everyone from best friends, family, co-workers to classmates, friends of friends and even someone you just met once! What often happens is that we are carefully crafting our Facebook persona, choosing events and posts that feel best to us in order to portray us as happy (and perfect) as “I’m about to bake cookies for my boyfriend!” “I have 2 job interviews this week!” “I just had the most romantic night ever!” How often do we feel envious or bad about ourselves after comparing our lives with our Facebook “friends”?

Dealing with picture-perfect images can be especially challenging for teenagers as they are in a life period which is based on comparing with peers. And at the same time it is a period of forming an understanding of who you are.

In this activity, we reflect on how Facebook makes us feel about ourselves and how it affects our perception of the world.

Activity Type

Individual or group / Theoretical


30 minutes for an individual, 45 minutes for a group

Learning Outcomes

  • To understand the influence of friends and peer groups having on people, especially youth

  • To recognize limitations and pitfalls of Facebook reality


Required Materials and Tools:

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Watch the online video “What's on your mind?” and read the article “Why Generation Y Yuppies are Unhappy”.

  2. Reflect about how Facebook (& other social media) affects your perception of yourself and the world.

    1. Is it possible for you to see what is the “real story” behind people's posts on social media?

    2. How the posts of what others are doing and experiencing make you feel about yourself?

    3. Do you post on Facebook to “impress” others? If not, what is your criteria to post something?

    4. Why and how is face-to-face interaction giving a different experience about the other person?

    5. Do you think you can change the way of using social media?

  3. If in a group, talk about what are options to better and more appropriate attitude about “reality” that Facebook shows.   

  4. If you feel there is something that you would like to change or improve about how and why you use Facebook share it with somebody in person and be clear what it is that you want to achieve and by when (ex:. recognising that one uses Facebook too much and would like to use it only 15 minutes per day for a week). Make the person accountable to check with you if you succeeded in your commitment. Or you can always send yourself a future email using a tool like Futureme for instance that will help you remind yourself about it.



  • Put in your calendar a remark that in one or two weeks after doing this exercise you will remember to reflect on this activity and observe if there is any change in how you use and respond to Facebook (or other social media).

  • Please finish the open question: “The changes I’ve noticed in my use of Facebook (or other social media) are…. “

Instructions for Submission

Submit participants’ written answers to the Reflection questions and a written reflection by you. Instructions on how to upload photos and how to submit things in Moodle can be found here: Instructions on Submission&Uploading

Instructions for Assessment

Provide feedback to at least one participant that has done this activity. Instructions on providing feedback can be found here: Instructions on Feedback

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