digital Footprint

Q5 Balancing My Media

5. Digital Footprint


Direct link to Common Sense Media video


Social media, watching YouTube and gaming oh my!! It is a fun place to be, but sometimes it’s so hard to stop playing, scrolling or viewing.  Some people even say they are “hooked” or “addicted” to their devices. Is that possible? Can digital media be good and bad for us? In the Quest, you will be exploring the good and bad sides of digital media and what you can do to create your own digital media balance.


Digital Media:  Digital media refers to electronic devices and media platforms such as computers, cell phones, digital video, social networking sites, the Internet, video games, and virtual worlds that allow users to create, communicate, and interact with one another or with the device or application itself.

Media Balance: Media balance is the use of media in a way that feels healthy and in balance with other life activities (family, friends, school, hobbies, etc.).

Habit: A habit is something we do automatically without thinking repeatedly.

Unplug: To unplug is engaging in activities that don't involve using devices, apps, or the internet.

Digital addiction: Digital addiction is a type of addiction characterized by a dependence on the use of digital technologies such as cell phones and computers.


  • explore examples of how digital media can be designed to have positive and negative effects on my brain.
  • explore options to avoid negative habits on digital media.  
  • analyze my own digital life and create solutions so that I have a positive digital media balance in my life.


To help you think about balancing media in your life, a variety of videos are provided. After watching each video you are asked to add your thoughts and ideas to the notes document provided. If you are a visual learner you may find it helpful to use a graphic organizer.

1. To arrange and capture your thoughts and ideas about managing your Digital life here are two options:

  • Copy or download this document  5.Q5 Digital Media Balance Notes
  • If you prefer a visual way, you may find it helpful to use a graphic organizer, and then do a screen-shot of the result to put in your Digital Media Balance notes document.

Some graphic organizer choices:


2. Watch "The Pressure to Stay Connected" from Common Sense Media. Direct link to the video on YouTube.

Remember to add your thoughts and ideas to your notes document after watching the video.

3. Watch the video below on how scrolling "hacks" your brain, OR read this article about Digital Addiction: How technology keeps us hooked.

Direct link to the video

Remember to add your thoughts and ideas to your notes document after watching the video and/or reading the article.

4. View and think about this infographic on screen time.

5. Add some thoughts about these facts to your Digital Media Balance Notes document.

6. Your task is to find positive ways to take control of your digital balance.

Choose two for some eye-opening ideas:

7. Choose a device, app, or website that you spend a lot of time using. Think about the different features it has and if they are designed to be habit-forming.

8. Open and Copy or download this Google document - My Media Use: A Personal Challenge - My Media-Balance Strategy Student Handout

Answer the questions OR create three guidelines or ways to help you keep track of your behavior as you use the device or app, or others that "hack" our brain.

9. Check with your teacher on an option to share your thoughts and ideas: in a full class discussion, small group, pair-share or by creating a digital artifact to communicate your ideas and thoughts.

10. Submit or turn in your Digital Media Balance Document to your teacher or as instructed.

Optional Activities

Option 1:

What does your social footprint look like? Copy or download this social footprint slide and edit the text boxes to tell your own social footprint story.

Option 2:

Watch this video titled, "Media Balance is Important" (Common Sense Media, or on YouTube) and create your own: poster, presentation, video, or other way to show your experience or ideas about balancing your digital life. This could be a small group or individual project.

Completing this Quest

When you have carefully considered the resources above about digital media balance, shared your ideas and thoughts, and followed requirements for turning in your Digital Media Balance Notes, you have completed this Quest.. 

Check off this Quest on the 21t4s roadmap

awardiconI have completed the Quests as assigned by my teacher. 
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Websites and Applications




iPad app
Popplet Lite

Competencies & Standards

MITECS   Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students, and

ISTE Standards for Students

2. Digital Citizen
a. Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
b. Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including social interactions online or when using networked devices.
c. Students demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.
d. Students manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security and are aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online.

6. Creative Communicator
c. Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.