Freedom to reveal or freedom to project?: An exploration of modern identity

Peter Totman

Introduction and structure of the paper

The social media explosion is still relatively recent, yet for many of us it is already hard to imagine what life was like without it. Generation Z is growing up with Social media simply as a reality, a 'virtual' fabric of their lives.

Social media has provided us with additional (even alternative) ways of portraying ourselves to the world. There is also the ubiquity. Many now cannot resist checking their smartphone every few minutes – nor indeed see why they should have to. As we wake up to consciousness in the morning, some will instinctively reach for their Smartphone to 'wake' up their virtual self. How has this constant engagement with self-expression impacted our sense of self? Do we have more freedom to express our true selves? Or is there more pressure to project an idealized image?