The Influence of Social Media on Adolescent Self-Identity Development: A Literature Review


The use of social media has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents, with over 90% of teenagers in the United States reporting that they use some form of social media. With this widespread adoption of social media, it is important to understand the ways in which it may influence the development of adolescents’ self-identity.


To examine the relationship between social media use and self-identity development, we conducted a literature review of existing research on the topic. We searched for relevant studies published in academic journals, using the following search terms: “social media,” “adolescents,” “self-identity,” and “identity development.” We included both qualitative and quantitative studies in our review, as well as studies that focused on different aspects of self-identity such as appearance, behavior, and values.


Our review of the literature revealed that the use of social media can have both positive and negative effects on adolescents’ self-identity. On the positive side, social media can provide adolescents with a sense of belonging and connection to others, as well as the opportunity to explore and express their own identities. It can also expose adolescents to diverse perspectives and ideas, which can broaden their understanding of themselves and others.

On the negative side, social media can also create pressure to conform to certain standards of appearance and behavior, and the constant comparison to others can lead to low self-esteem and negative body image. Additionally, the abundance of online misinformation and the potential for cyberbullying can also have negative effects on adolescents’ self-identity.


The influence of social media on adolescents’ self-identity is complex and multi-faceted. While it can provide opportunities for connection and self-expression, it is important for adolescents to use social media in a healthy and balanced way in order to avoid negative consequences for their self-identity. Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between social media use and self-identity development in adolescents.

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