Go fullscreen

Social Media Addiction ESL Lesson

Why Scrolling On Social Media Is Addictive

Student Level


Video Length: 5:01

Updated on: 04/17/2024

Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.

1 Credit

Icon for Google note This lesson comes available in our new Google Slide E-Lesson Version!

Unlocking this lesson costs 1 credit and will give you full access to the printable lesson plan, interactive lesson plan, and teacher's guide. Click here to get credits.

Social Media Addiction ESL Lesson Description


This social media addiction ESL lesson provides activities, PDF worksheets, and digital materials designed for advanced C1 students. In this lesson, students will:

  • Describe some meaningful and mindless uses of smart devices
  • Engage in complex discussions and express opinions about social media use
  • Watch a video about social media addiction and learn how it works
  • Use a variety of advanced phrases to express reasons for an argument
  • Participate in role-play scenarios exploring social media addiction, such as planning a social media detox


In the preview part of this social media addiction ESL lesson, students engage with a series of images depicting various scenarios of smart device use. These include images, for example, of people sitting on the couch mindlessly scrolling, sports betting, using guided meditations, and making YouTube videos. They discuss the depicted activities and evaluate them based on whether they perceive them as meaningful or productive versus mindless or addictive. Additionally, students move on to the next part, which features agree/disagree discussion topics. They discuss whether they agree, disagree, or partially agree/disagree with statements about social media. They should provide explanations for their positions, which fosters critical thinking and discussion. In the last part of the preview, students imagine an addiction expert is explaining how social media addiction works. They speculate on the expert's message using some provided vocabulary terms, such as the brain, dopamine, the nervous system, and addictiveness.


For the viewing activity, students watch a video about social media addiction. It highlights how social media is addictive, and how social media addiction works. There are a variety of opinions featured in the video, including an addiction expert and a student. Students engage in a series of tasks, including identifying true/false statements, matching sentences with their endings, and discussing or writing short answers based on information from the video. This segment encourages active engagement and helps students develop comprehension skills while deepening their understanding of social media addiction.


After watching the video, students participate in several activities to reinforce their understanding and encourage reflection. They complete sentences about social media use. The sentences are focused on phrases to express supporting arguments or reasons for an argument when making a point. For example, one of the sentences reads:

"In light of the fact that social media can be extremely addictive, users should be aware of the consequences and moderate their use."

This helps students deepen their understanding of the nuanced language associated with the topic. Students will answer a few discovery questions about the use of the phrases in this section.

Additionally, students choose one of the provided phrases to formulate a question about social media and engage in discussion with a classmate or teacher. This activity promotes critical thinking and language use related to the video content.


In the activation phase, students choose from discussion/debate topics related to social media addiction. They engage in conversations with classmates or the teacher, employing the provided expressions in the viewing follow-up to support their arguments. Alternatively, students can participate in role-play scenarios, assuming different roles and perspectives related to social media addiction. These include roles such as lawyers in a lawsuit or concerned friends discussing overuse. See the description of the role plays below.


In the role-play activities, students take on different personas related to social media addiction. In Role Play 1, they act as a prosecutor and defense attorney debating whether social media companies should be held accountable for addiction. Role Play 2 involves students portraying concerned and supportive friends discussing social media overuse and how to take a social media detox. Lastly, in Role Play 3, students become a public health official seeking advice from an addiction expert for addressing addiction in society. Through these scenarios, students explore various perspectives on social media addiction and its impacts.


Enhances critical thinking: Students engage in discussions about meaningful versus mindless smart device use. This can help them to critically evaluate their own behaviors and those depicted in the images.

Encourages collaboration: Collaborative activities, such as debating and role-playing, promote teamwork and cooperation among students. They can work together to explore complex issues surrounding social media addiction.

Comprehensive understanding: In the lesson, students watch a video about social media addiction and complete related tasks. These exercises help students gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic and its complexities.

Video Description

If you've ever used social media, you're probably aware of how addictive it can be. Explore in this informative report how social media addiction works through the lenses of an addiction expert, a student, and a reporter.

Lesson Activities


Smart Devices, Social Media Addiction


True / False / Not Given, Matching Activity, Short Answers


Phrases for expressing arguments


Role Plays in Action: Social Media Addiction, Follow-up Debate Topics, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection

Lesson Topics

Smart Device Use, Social Media Addiction

Lesson Preview

Similar Lessons