what do i choose

to share publicly

and what do i

keep to myself?

The activity below encourages students to explore what to share publicly, what to keep to themselves, and how to decide. Students will reflect on their digital footprint and assess the risks of sharing online, especially when it comes to privacy and security. At the same time, students will consider the ways in which going public enable them to raise awareness and encourage others to get involved around issues that matter to them.


Activity 1: Video - Public vs. Private

(30-45 minutes)

This activity invites students to assess risks, especially those concerning privacy and security, as they share their stories publicly online.

To see the original MAPP prompt that created this video, click here.

Ask your students to watch the video “Public vs. Private”. Then ask students to write a written reflection in response to the following questions:

  • What do you share publicly and what do you keep private? How do you decide?

  • Do you use social media to share you thoughts with a larger public? Why or why not?

  • What is the advantage of sharing more about yourself with a broader public?

  • Have you ever experienced any positive or negative consequences from sharing something publicly?

  • Can sharing personal information about yourself help get people to support you when you take action on a particular issue? Do you have an example of when this happened to you or someone you know?


After students have reflected individually, students can pair up or form a small group to share what they wrote and discuss their ideas. You can then bring the class together to discuss broad themes or headlines drawing on what students discussed in their groups.  

© 2018 by the MacArthur Research Network on Youth and Participatory Politics

Students explore their identities and communities, identify civic issues that matter to them, and consider how they might use digital media for civic participation.

Students work to understand and analyze civic information online, and consider what information they

can trust.

Students navigate diverse perspectives and exchange ideas about civic issues in our inter-connected world .

Students consider how, when and to what end they can create, remix and otherwise re-purpose content that they share with others in online spaces.

Students consider a broad range of tactics and strategies for acting on civic issues.