University of Twente Student Theses


Instagram Use and Identity Development among Adolescents

Karakoc, L. (2023) Instagram Use and Identity Development among Adolescents.

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Abstract:Introduction Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms among adolescents. The platform has many uses, including one that is particularly important for adolescents: expressing identity online. As identity development is one of the core tasks during adolescence, this raises the question how adolescent Instagram use contributes to identity development. A strong sense of identity is important for healthy development during adolescence and later stages of life. Method To collect data, 15 qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted. The sample of participants included 15 young men and women between the ages of 16 and 24 years old. Participants were recruited through voluntary response sampling and snowball sampling. Based on the theoretical framework and the transcriptions of the interviews, a codebook was created through deductive coding. This codebook was used to code all interview transcripts. Results Posting impermanent content on Instagram stories seems to be the preferred way of sharing content on Instagram. While a user’s Instagram account does give an impression of what the user is like, to fully understand the user’s identity it’s required to meet up in person. A user's social groups can often be retraced from the user's Instagram account. Finsta’s and close friends stories are often used by adolescents to post more personal and raw content on. Conclusion This study showed that Instagram can be used as a tool that satisfies both agency and communion needs. On one hand, adolescents decide for themselves what they post and who can see it. On the other hand, sharing content on Instagram and interacting with others can also give us a sense of belonging.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
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