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Social Media Affordances & Constraints

Are students getting the most out of social media?  Do they know when to use one platform over another?  Can they tell when offline engagement might be a more viable option?  To answer these questions, students might consider the role of social media affordances. How they perceive social media affordances, such as visibility, persistence, editability and association, can both enable or constrain what they do on a given platform. Becoming mindful of the cause of these perceptions may give them a fuller sense of the strengths and limitations of using social media. For example, some people may choose to self-censor online because of the way they perceive affordances such as visibility and persistence on several social media platforms. In this case, students might consider offline opportunities for expressing an opinion. To help guide students through this process, I propose developing a “answer key” of possible ways affordances may be perceived by users of various social media platforms.

During the webinar, participants will be asked to contribute to our work in progress: Google Spreadsheet on Social Media Affordances


Date: Wednesday, May 24

Time: 4PM EST


Presenter: Sean P. Gabaree



Sean Gabaree is a social studies teacher at Montgomery Blair HS in Silver Spring, MD and a doctoral student at Georgetown University. As a high school teacher, Sean primarily teaches AP American Gov’t, Honors American Gov’t and an elective he designed called Political Behavior & Psychology.  As a graduate student, Sean’s interest lies in the role of social media in a deliberative democracy.