This argumentative essay at the intersection of media studies, Cultural Studies, and literacy research, frames of PD in the emerging territory of social media and civic engagement. We refer to core principles of PD and to recent reflections on social technologies and participation in design. These are linked to research on designing for participative cultural expression via social media. PD is particularly suited to young people’s involvement in the context of design and civic engagement. We argue that a cultural view that highlights issues of power, identity, agency, and culture offers useful avenues for negotiating the interests and perspectives of different stakeholders in civic initiatives. There is a need for design to connect to existing participatory and cultures of youth. We offer illustrations of these and a number of considerations for possible future use.