Do kids have a different persona than their true character when using social media? Is their on-line personality authentic? Here’s what four teens ages 17-19-years had to say:
‘Amy’: I think most kids have a different persona, but for the most part it is an authentic representation of themselves. My personality on-line is just an exaggerated and less filtered version of myself. At times, I feel more comfortable on-line; I have a chance to edit what I’m saying much more than I can when I’m speaking in person. Being on-line gives you more freedom to be more confident and say what you really feel.
‘Elias’: Teens have different persona. Teens on social media essentially bring out their true feelings on-line, because they are hiding behind a computer. Teens’ identities are authentic on-line some of the time, because it’s like a deep yearning for the things you want to do and/or say in real-life. You can see a lot more people voicing their opinions on-line towards someone rather than in person (i.e. twitter beef). Social media has become an area in teens’ lives where they don’t feel afraid to be who they actually are. I feel because our generation was born in this technological era, constant communication via the internet and social media is an obsession that we turn to for everything. Overall, I think it actually develops teen identity because it helps us show us features of our personality that we’re too scared to show in real-life (such as high self-esteem)…. at the same time it also promotes narcissistic behaviour – people try to get more followers than their friends on Twitter just to show their “Popularity”. It’s the same for collecting Instagram followers. A negative follow-following ratio to teens is something that they feel makes them unpopular.
‘Carrie’: Social media is taking over the world and that’s not necessarily a good thing. It is taking away the ability for people, especially young people, to use basic interpersonal face-to-face communication skills, both in professional interviews and casual conversations. People tend to be more outgoing over social media and say things they wouldn’t normally say to a person’s face, whether it’s good or bad. Additionally, people, myself included, tend to speak differently to people over social media, especially when texting to communicate. It’s not intentional, but some people’s style of texting is different, and I just tend to follow suit with their style, sometimes straying from my personality.