How social media shapes our identities


Yaqi Zhang

Retrieved from


Social media becomes a part of our lives and people cannot live without it. It is usual that everyone has at least one social media platform and one profile online. They share their life, friends, family, and some interesting things through social media. Before people share their photos, they need to fill out the profile to make their friends know who they are. The profile allows users to share their description, photos, location, favorite books, movies, etc., and everyone in the social media can see the information. The profile information helps others to identify who you are through the Internet. Personal profile is another way to attract people who have the same interest to follow the users and make friends.

“As for most of us who are spending long time everyday in the social media sites and blogs, and for the younger generation who have been doing so since a very young age, it is believed that the online social media and blogging sharing is effecting the shaping process of our identity whether we intended to or not” (Lames, 2013). A research showed that when people make their personal profile or post photos online, they are motivated by “impression management”, which was defined as “people’s desire to make good impressions to the others” (Lames, 2013).

Social media users want to show the “perfect me” through the Internet, or use the social media to give others a perfect impression, especially the younger generation. American adolescents spend at least six hours engage in social media per day (Arnett, 2010). Younger generation spends most of their time online and builds their social circle through the Internet. People want to be accepted, so that’s the reason why they want to make a good impression through their online profiles. Users create the image they want others to see and “hide” the deficiencies they have. They expect their followers will leave the positive comments and agree with them. As time goes on, our opinions and attitude are shaped and affected online, and finally, affected our identities.


Retrieved from




Arnett, J. J. (2010).  Adolescence and emerging adulthood:  A cultural approach. (4th

edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson-Prentice Hall.

Lames. (2013). How social media and blogging shape our identities. Retrieved from

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Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism