Posted: 11th March 2024

student debate

On Tuesday 5th March Thornton hosted the second of our student debates with St Paul’s school. Thornton students proposed the motion that ‘social media does more harm than good’, whilst students from St Paul’s offered points in opposition.  Arguments ranged from discussion of the impact on mental health, self esteem and social interaction to the impact of data-sharing on privacy and the economy.

Important points were raised about social media providing a platform for marginalised voices and building communities, whilst counter arguments addressed its potential for marginalising and stigmatising others and its polarising effects. Cogent points were made on both sides about the nature of social media in relation to business and the economy. For example, social media may enhance online trade by connecting seller and consumer in novel and more accessible ways, but this may come at the cost of the health of the high street. There was some lively discussion about the impact on education, with students debating whether social media acts to destroy critical thinking and spread misinformation or if, when used wisely, it can be a tool for improving knowledge. The students also discussed regulation and whether corporations and governments can mitigate harm effectively.

There were so many questions that the time for each summary speaker had to be extended, which is testament to the work the students had put into their arguments and the clarity with which they expressed their points.

The event was an excellent example of students from both schools developing their public speaking skills and engaging respectfully with a range of views.

Thornton participants:

Amelie Y12 (Deputy Head Girl)
Jess Y12 (Head Girl)
Yasmin Y12
Ira K Y11
Deborah W Y11


Chair: Celia Y12
Timekeeper: Ava Y12

Categories: General News Senior School Year 11 Year 12
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