Self Discrepancy Theory Of Self Discovery

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According to Psychologist Dr. Jim Taylor, the world of social media today is transforming self discovery from a process of knowing thyself to rather showing thyself.(Taylor: online). Your online persona, or rather social media profile, can in many ways be viewed as a form of self-presentation. Self-presentation, which is “the conscious or unconscious process by which people try to influence the perception of their image”, is not only natural, but also takes place in the offline world through social interactions (Junco : 111). We have a perceived images of ourselves and we want to communicate to the outside world and ensure that other people see us as we view ourselves. On social media we view our profiles as a representation of who we are.…show more content…
Self discrepancy theory as explained by ….., suggests, “your “real self” is what you are - your attributes, your characteristics, and your personality.” (Green: Online). Your “ideal self” on the other hand is your vision, who we would like to be or feel we should be, this is often constructed due to societal influences. Your ought-self is the ideas and ideal you think others have for you or might push you towards, for example your parents pressuring you to lose weight. The Self discrepancy theory then suggests that all three of these selves are in fact valid as even though your idealised self is not necessarily cohesive to your real-self, the idealised self is not a self that is untrue. (Junco: ). The three ultimately work hand in hand to form your identity and in a way our online profiles become an extension of…show more content…
Thus your ideas of self develop through time because we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Festinger goes on to say that self comparison takes place because people have the need for self-evaluation and they evaluate themselves by comparing their appearance and abilities with these of other people. (). Social comparison can be defined as “comparative judgments of social stimuli on particular content dimensions” (). Thus by comparing ourselves to other we re-evaluate our own identity and ultimately achieve affirmation. It is important however to realise that social comparison can then take place in either upward or downward comparison. (). Social media is in essence driven by social comparison. Balick claims that this is the nature of the social network, as in many ways it “aids and “abets a superficial way of judging both others and the self.”” (Balick). We are constantly scrolling through the virtual lives of other people and whether we realise it or not we are often comparing our lives to those that fill op our social media feed. We upload things about ourselves online mostly for others to view and we then rely on the network of people online to accept or reject our

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