The pros and cons of social media

There are many pros and cons of social media. It is important for students to understand that a positive may also be a negative, and that there are many ‘shades of grey’ when interacting online. Equipping students to evaluate these perspectives will help them to make positive and safe choices when engaging online.

Year Level



5 minutes


  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness

Learning Intention

Students will learn to see both sides of a situation, understanding that social media is not black and white and it is important to see the shades of grey.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the perceived ‘good’ and ‘bad’ of social media
  • understand the ‘shades of grey’ of social media
  • feel confident to make positive choices when engaging with social media.
Activity 01

Instructions 5 min

  1. Draw a Venn diagram on the whiteboard.
  2. In one circle, write ‘pros’ and in the second circle write ‘cons’.
  3. In the first circle, ask students to write the ‘pros’ (positives) of social media.
  4. In the second circle, ask students to write the ‘cons' (negatives) of social media.
  5. In the middle part of the diagram, where the circles overlap, ask students to write what could be both a ‘positive’ and a ‘negative’.
  6. As a class, discuss:
    • Why can social media be both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’?
    • What can be done to limit the impact of the ‘negatives’ of social media?
  7. Debrief with students. Explain that there are often grey areas with social media. While something might be ‘positive’ (e.g. being able to share photos with someone who lives far away), it can also be negative (e.g. hurtful comments). This means it can be hard to define something as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’.