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Social Media and Self-Identity: A Gen Z Dilemma

Oh, social media. You are the double-edged sword of our generation. One minute, we’re sharing memes about existential dread and the next, we’re stuck in a comparison trap with that influencer who seems to have it all together (spoiler alert: they probably don’t). It’s like a rollercoaster ride where you can’t quite tell if you’re having fun or just feeling nauseous.

As a fellow member of Gen Z and an avid user of social media myself, I’ve experienced first-hand how these platforms can shape our sense of self-identity. So let’s dive into this complex web together, shall we?

The Good

Let’s start on a positive note. Social media gives us the ability to connect with people from all over the world. We can share ideas, learn new things and even make meaningful friendships. It’s like a global party where everyone’s invited.

We also have access to information like never before. Want to learn how to do an eyeliner flick? YouTube is your guru. Need advice on dealing with anxiety? There are countless Instagram accounts dedicated to mental health support.

The Not-So-Good

Now for the less shiny side of things. While social media has its perks, it can also contribute to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

We’ve all been there – scrolling through perfectly curated feeds full of flawless selfies, exotic holidays and gourmet meals while sitting in our pyjamas eating cereal out of the box (just me?). This constant exposure to other people’s highlight reels can lead us to question whether our own lives measure up.

The Comparison Trap

The comparison trap is real, my friends. And it’s not just about material things. It extends to personal achievements, relationships and even our physical appearances. This can have a detrimental impact on our self-esteem and overall mental health.

Remember that influencer I mentioned earlier? Well, let me tell you a little secret: their life isn’t perfect either. They have bad hair days, they fight with their partners, they struggle with insecurities… just like the rest of us.

The Role of Social Media in Self-Identity

So how does this all tie into self-identity? Well, our identities are shaped by how we perceive ourselves and how we believe others perceive us. Social media adds another layer to this by providing a platform where we can curate our own narratives.

We choose what aspects of our lives to share (and which to leave out), creating an online persona that may or may not reflect who we truly are. This can lead to a disconnect between our ‘online selves’ and ‘real selves’, causing confusion and distress.

Finding Balance

Okay, so social media has its pros and cons. But does that mean we should all delete our accounts and retreat into the wilderness? Not necessarily (unless you want to – no judgement here!). Instead, it’s about finding balance.

Here are some tips:

  • Limit your screen time: Set boundaries for when you use social media and stick to them.
  • Mindful scrolling: Be aware of how different posts make you feel. If something triggers negative emotions, consider unfollowing or muting that account.
  • Celebrate your uniqueness: Remember that everyone’s path is different. Celebrate your own achievements, no matter how small they may seem.
  • Seek support: If you’re struggling with your mental health, reach out to a trusted friend, family member or professional.

At the end of the day, social media is just a tool. It’s up to us how we use it. So let’s choose to use it in ways that uplift and inspire us, rather than let it dictate our self-worth and identity.

And remember: you are more than your online persona. You are a complex, unique individual with your own strengths and weaknesses – and that’s something worth celebrating.


Sophie is a vibrant and multifaceted individual who beautifully intertwines her diverse heritage, with her contemporary interests and beliefs. A passionate devotee of weight training, Sophie finds strength and empowerment in her physical regimen, which aligns seamlessly with her deeply spiritual nature. This spiritual depth is a cornerstone of her character, informing her perspectives and enriching her approach to life's challenges and joys.

In her professional life, Sophie has carved out a niche as a junior author for the thought-provoking blog, "Illusions of Wisdom." Here, she expertly delves into issues that resonate with Generation Z, offering insightful, articulate, and nuanced perspectives. Her writing not only reflects the pulse of her generation but also echoes the wisdom and sensitivity of someone deeply connected to their cultural roots and personal passions. Whether discussing mental health, environmental concerns, or the evolving landscape of digital interactions, Sophie's voice is both a guiding light and a mirror for her peers.

Her work on "Illusions of Wisdom" is characterised by a rare blend of authenticity and analytical acumen, making her a beloved figure among her readers. As Sophie continues to explore and express her multifaceted identity through her writing, she remains an inspiration to many, embodying the spirit of a generation that values both strength and introspection.

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