Social Media Literacy Workshop

Lynette Hunter
Theatre & Dance
UC Davis

Heather Nolan
Performance Studies
UC Davis

This is a workshop for youth in foster care to address some of the issues surrounding social media and internet use among high school and college-aged young people. Rather than discouraging media use or alerting kids to its dangers, the workshop offers an opportunity for young people to engage with digital (social) media in a way that addresses critical questions about what they are putting out into the internet as well as what they encounter. It explores what parts of their identity and life they are using and brings their attention to meaningful ways to participate in the problems of living in public. They have opportunities to think through the self-definition and self-curation of social media, the duration of the images on the internet, narrative construction, and on-screen and off-screen space. Through the playing of theater games, conversations about social interactions on and off line, and the process of creating content, project leaders encourage youths in foster care to search for a questioning, skeptical, critical approach to the media they encounter.