tell the truth

We all know that digital media has become embedded in our everyday lives, and have changed the way we engage in communication, creative expression and how we produce knowledge. I plan to argue that instagram and other social media’s are negatively effecting our identity construction, especially in young people, under 25.

Rachel Brathen, a “instagram celebrity,” shared in a TEDx talk in 2015 that she slowly became famous on instagram from posting photos about yoga, health, food and happiness. However when she posted a photo of tequila with the hashtag “long day” her follower slammed her for being a hypocrite.It gave her the realisation that she wasn’t being completely honest with her followers. It is one of the dangers of social media, what we share and orchestrate our lives to be is what people actually believe to be true, not everyone see’s through the filters of social media.

Tell the truth. What is the truth? Social media is so often used to construct the idealistic online lifestyle. Adolescents in 2016 are having their identity influenced or even are finding it through social media. An identity isn’t something we are born with but is rather a socially constructed attribute. Who we are isn’t only determined by internal factors but also external, this is where social media comes into affect. Social media has become an extension of our identity formation. Part of identity formation is thinking about the type of person we want to be and social media allows for people, especially adolescents, to use this constant flow of information, photographs, videos, celebrities to be a guide for their own social comparison. Ideas and values that teenagers are developing of the world through social media aren’t always necessarily how the real world actually works. Likes don’t actually correlate to the future success of a young person.

5 thoughts on “tell the truth”

  1. On social media sites we consider our profiles to be presentations of who we are but in reality they are presentations of who we want to be. However is our true self shaped by what we think of ourselves or by the way we act? Through interaction with the social medium, the real and ideal selves intersect and the ideal self becomes partially actualised. Is there then a distinction between real and ideal self because if you have made the choice to become that person then is that not who are? Then you have to consider if your definition of self is based on your own perception yourself or how others perceive you because if it is the later then your external presentations are you. Personally I believe the concept of self is constantly fluctuating it changes in the moment based on your surroundings, your thoughts, your reactions and choices. I don’t think there is a static state of self but many different versions of self at differing times and the minds of those with whom you interact. It is so strange to think we spend our lives attempting to manage our self-presentation, but then no two perceptions of you would be the same.


  2. “I plan to argue that Instagram and other social media’s are negatively effecting our identity construction, especially in young people, under 25.”

    This is a really interesting topic to engage with; but is it always a negative effect that it produces? The TED talk you linked with Rachel Brathen was a wonderful example of both sides of this concept: it demonstrated the quick to judge, mob like persona of social media followers, who were quick to judge her when she strayed from the identity she had constructed on her feed. Later on in the video however, it also demonstrates a different side of social media that can engage with the content in an overwhelmingly compassionate way.

    Perhaps more people need to realise that constructing 2D personalities, because I agree that many people look to others when trying to find their voice or identity online ( These 2D personalities constructed on social media is not necessarily going to help empower anyone, or allow for a the deepest connection with their audience beyond a simple like for their perfectly curated, idealistic lifestyle which is depicted. ( That’s not to say it won’t make people happy, or give someone an ego boost, just that it can create a shallow connection with the audience. When others start to model a more rounded approach to their social media profiles which demonstrates imperfection alongside their idealised posts, thus creating a more realised identity which people can understand better and share a deeper connection to; perhaps the younger generation will follow suit. Should construction of ‘3D’ personalities be an ethical responsibility we assume upon ourselves within social media?

    This is a bit of an article which discusses some of the more positive side re: social media, and could be useful in providing another perspective ( This is also an interesting read about the psychology behind social media and how we interact with it (


  3. Social media tends to only capture a moment rather than an experience. If you take someone posting a photo of themselves on top of a mountain, in that Instagram photo all we see is the perfect views, perfect location and perfect holiday. What social media doesn’t capture is that hard work that had to go into afford that holiday, as well as the hot sweaty hike that took three hours to complete.

    Its almost built into our DNA to only ever a show off a perfect completed product. This is a good article about the authentication of social media,


  4. I am interested in what the origins of Instagram were? How has it developed to be the form of Social Media it is today? Did it begin as a form of Social Media, or was it just one of the many thousands of apps, placed on the App Store and Android equivalent? How has it evolved in a way where we are consumers, but also prosumers? We are continuously inspired or influenced by our friends, people we know or even celebrities on Social Media, and we are continuously being busy bodies about all of it.

    We create an online persona we want to be seen by the public – but as soon as you crack, your persona is no longer ‘you’. Authenticity within the online realm is something we can never get rid of. The media are constantly affecting the lives and families of many celebrities every day – and all we say as “non-celebrities”, is that the ‘celebrity’ signed up for that when they became famous. However, who made them famous in the first place? – The people and the supporters made them famous….
    Why did the celebrity change, how did they become so unauthentic? – The people and the supporters made them this way…

    Interesting indeed!


  5. Ola, good work it’s an interesting research topic. I think you’re definitely right in that social media is negatively effecting our identity construction.
    Social media is being used more and more frequently and while people of our generation largely grew up without these technologies, kids now are being brought up with these technologies as second nature. This is great in that we have a country full of kids who have instant access to unlimited information and each other but I feel we won’t realise most of the more subtle and dangerous implications of these technologies until much later, in particular in relation to identity and social media.
    One of the other Digc students, Paul I’m pretty sure is looking at ratings but it’s incredible to think that nearly everything we post on social media (which is a tonne) is rated in some form pretty quickly, even that pressure on its own is enough to have some pretty profound negative effects on younger generations. Also it’s funny not too long ago my mum got Facebook but it’s been crazy to see how she’s adapted to the like system and she just rapidly ranks everything by how many likes it has. Scary times


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