Media literacy

Should Florida Students Learn “Social Media Literacy” in School? Some lawmakers think so

November 29, 2021

Social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat are used by children and teens around the world, and some Florida lawmakers want to ensure students are informed about the risks and benefits of using of these platforms.

That’s why, in the 2022 legislative session, the Florida Legislature will consider a bill that calls for mandatory “social media literacy” education.

The bill defines “social media” as “a form of interactive electronic communication through a website or Internet application whereby a user creates a user profile identifying a specific service to connect with other users of the site. website or internet application for the purpose of communicating and sharing information, ideas, news, stories, opinions, images and other content.”

If the legislation is approved by the Legislature and Governor, knowledge of social media would be added to other instruction required under Florida law, such as African American history and Holocaust history. .

In addition, school boards would create educational materials available online and notify parents of the availability of materials.

The House version of the bill is co-sponsored by Republican Representative Clay Yarborough, who represents part of Duval County, and Democratic Representative Fentrice Driskell, who represents part of Hillsborough County.

The Senate version of the bill is sponsored by Sen. Danny Burgess, who represents parts of Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk counties, and will be discussed at a Senate education meeting on Tuesday.

The staff’s analysis of the legislation indicates that social media plays a vital role in today’s culture, particularly among teens, and that “requiring social media literacy education could students to better understand the benefits and risks of communicating and sharing information on social media. platforms.”

Some of these benefits include connecting with friends, meeting new friends through common interests, and sharing artwork or music, depending on the bill analysis.

The downsides of social media include instances of cyberbullying, privacy issues including collection of data from teenage users, and exposure to dangerous people.


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