How to earn your badge
You will need
- Scrap paper
- Pens or pencils
- Character profiles (below)
Be a digital detective
- This activity is to help you remember that whenever you go online you leave a digital footprint made up of everything you do, and every interaction you have, online.
A digital footprint is a trail of data that people leave when they’re online. Every email, social media post, website visit, and subscription adds to the trail, and lots of these remain online for many years. Everyone leaves a digital footprint – it’s important to think about it before posting or writing anything online.
- There are three character profiles below. Pick one character profile and read through it. What do you think the person you have chosen is like? Can you create a character from the information you have about the person?.
You may want to jot down some ideas or make and label a drawing to help you think about it.
- You can email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you think about your character – imagine you are introducing a new friend. Add as much detail as you can, but don’t make things up – it should all be based on the evidence from their social media profiles.
Give friendly advice
- Once you’ve thought about your character profiles, what advice would you give your character to help keep themselves safe, maintain privacy, or make more positive decisions.
For example, Kate shouldn’t publicly post that’s she on her own somewhere (to keep herself safe), Arun shouldn’t share their teacher’s name (or unkind comments about other people), and Taylor shouldn’t take or post videos that poke fun at other people.
- Why should the characters think about following your advice?
- Remember to tell a trusted adult if you feel uncomfortable about anything online.
This activity was all about understanding communication. How much could you work out about the characters from just a few social media posts? A handful of posts only show a small snapshot of what someone’s like, so it’s important not to make lots of assumptions. Do people find it tempting to make assumptions about people based on their social media (for example, if someone acts as through they’re very popular and outgoing, is it easy to assume they’re like that in real life? Is that always true?)?
This activity was also about being a citizen. How may the content the characters posted on social media have affected others? For example, Taylor’s video may have upset the person in it, Arun’s post may offend Miss Take, or Kate’s post may have made her brother feel sad. It’s important to remember that lots of people may look at someone’s social media – it’s not just their friends, it could be family members (including parents), potential friends, or even potential employers. What messages do the characters’ social media interactions give to these people? Fast forward 10 years. How may the characters feel about these interactions now? What advice would everyone’s future selves give their current selves about social media?