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Interactive video lesson plan for: Casually Suicidal

Activity overview:

Social media is a credible way of interacting with others and expressing yourself in the 21st century. It seems like writing or joking about wanting to die has become just as ‘normal’ as posting about your day.

Sarah Liberti enjoys singing and playing clarinet, saxophone and flute in various school ensembles, all while privately concentrating on voice studies. She is currently in her fourth year studying for her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education at Adelphi University (having transferred from Suffolk County Community College).

For her TEDx presentation, “Casually Suicidal: What Now,” she drew inspiration from simply scrolling through social media. “It was heartbreaking to realize how many people passively or actively post about death,” she said. “Social media is a credible way of interacting with others and expressing yourself in the 21st century. It seems like writing or joking about wanting to die has become just as ‘normal’ as posting about your day.”

Whether it is as a music teacher or in another capacity, Liberti intends to dedicate herself to helping others express themselves, feel safe and find solutions to serious internal and external struggles.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Tagged under: TEDxTalks,English,United States,Life,Activism,Bullying,Childhood,Children,Mental health,Parenting,Psychology,Schools,Society,Technology

7 questions

1. Do you think Sarah's opening was effective? Give her a thumbs up or a thumbs down. (00:00:54)

2. Make a prediction: Where do you think Sarah's speech is going? What will she discuss next? (00:01:28)

3. Have you seen memes and comments like this on social media? Do you think people would say these types of comments in person? Why or why not? (00:03:22)

4. What is the assumption that Sarah made about suicide jokes? Do you think that is a common assumption? (00:05:40)

5. What do you think of Sarah's response to her friend? (00:09:02)

6. How does this example relate to Sarah's idea that "discomfort is the root of all this emotional turmoil we feel"? (00:11:46)

7. What does Sarah ultimately suggest that we do? How can you relate this to at least one of our other sources? (00:14:11)

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1. Students enter a simple code

2. You play the video

3. The students comment

4. You review and reflect

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