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Research Proposal on the topic of ‘What Role do Social Media, Internet and School Information Play in the Identity of Adolescents’.
Internet is an integral part of the life of people, especially adolescents. They spend most of their time on the phone, their ways of being connected to people have changed with the high usage of internet by the time. Adolescents are on social media and get affected by it very much. The content adolescents see on social media affects their perception. The identity of adolescents in this digital era is influenced by the internet and elements associated with it among which social media is the major one. Apart from this, school information is their learning from school. This information also impacts the way adolescents perceive things; the way things get developed in their minds (Osher et al, 2020). To identify the intensity with which all these affect the identity of adolescents, this research needs to be done.
This research proposal is based on the role social media, school information, internet play on the identity of adolescents. This proposal will include a research problem and rationale statement which will demonstrate the reasons because of which the research needs to be conducted. The aim and objectives of the research will be discussed which will be the most important part of a research project. It is because aim and objectives are the base of research without which there would be no point in conducting the study. The preliminary literature review relevant to the topic will be done, and the research methodology will be discussed. In this proposal, the discussion of methodology will include the design of the research, recruiting and sampling, the research method which will be used, and the ethics which will be considered by the researcher in the study.
The experiences adolescents have with social media, the internet, or with school information, influence their identity and the role they have. These experiences affect the way adolescents perceive their identity as social individuals. Sometimes the effect is negative which may have serious consequences on their mental health of them and their parents too because it can change their behavior negatively. This is one of the major reasons due to which identification of the degree of these influences is necessary. The research is significant mainly for the parents of adolescents because for ensuring the good mental and physical health of their children, they must know the role social media, the internet, and school information play in the identity of their children (Brosch 2016). The research will also be helpful for the children as well to introspect how their identity is getting affected by these, and whether they are giving unnecessary importance to social media or the internet which is making differences in their identities. The rationale of this study will be high and will help the audience to expand their knowledge base in regards to the internet, social media, school information, and the role of these informing or changing the identity of adolescents. This research will also help to reduce the gap of literature regarding the role social media, the internet, or school learning plays in developing or forming the identity of adolescents.
This research aims to analyze the role of social media, the internet, and school information play in adolescents' identity. This research has the purpose of identifying the level of importance these elements like social media, internet have in setting the identity of adolescents.
The research objectives are:
Role of social media in the identity of adolescents
According to Gündüz (2017), social media platforms play a prominent role in the lives of people because these are the places where people show their living experiences. Social media highly affects identity because it is a reflection of various dimensions of the position of adolescents in physical, virtual, and social life. Social media has become more prominent in the past few years and gaining more importance by the time because it has a deep impact on the identity of people within society. Social media platforms enable the expression of identity, exploration, and experimentation. Social media can be called the source which inspires people to connect and enhance interactions with people which ultimately influences their identities. Group interactions i.e., the interaction between different communities on social media play a major part in identity formation. In these social media interactions, the adolescents identify the way they are likely to be perceived, and the ways they will be able to connect better with people which develops, change, or distort their identity. Distortion of identities of adolescents on social media can be understood as making accounts with fake names to show off how cool they are and creating multiple accounts. The author of this study has explored the practical aspects of ways in which social media constructs identities. The authors have identified that adolescents find it very important to have virtual identities which get formed with social media platforms. The author has identified with the study that the virtual identity of adolescents formed by social media sometimes makes them question their social and cultural identities.
The author Doble (2018), also presented the views on social media influence on adolescents’ identity formation. Doble has agreed with the identifications and findings of the above study that social media plays a prominent role in identity formation and development among adolescents. In this study, the author has used a qualitative approach for which observation, survey, and interviews have been used. This study aimed to make the adolescents aware of their social media behavior, and its impacts on their identity formation. The author has identified that adolescents are so much habitual of using social media in this digital age. Adolescents these days use social media platforms usually for virtual communing. Despite all this, adolescents go through many physical and mental changes like body changes, brain order, and mainly identity development which get influenced by social media. In the teenage, the adolescents feel major shifts in relationships, development of their own, and socialization with others. This shift makes the adolescents realize social influence on them and the development of their identity. It has been argued by the authors that individuals on social media with adolescents who have virtual relationships can have adaptive or maladaptive effects on their identity development. The study has identified that social media has both positive and negative influences on the identity development of adolescents which demonstrates that it plays an important role in the identity of children.
In the views of Mirkin (2017), adolescence is the age of growth and development of a sense of identity. Social media platforms have always been changing the ways in which this sense of identity gets developed among adolescents. Social media influence the self-identity of adolescents, their socialized views, and the way they perceive their identities from others' points of view. Social media platforms play a prominent role in constituting the identities among adolescents which allow them to cultivate self-esteem in them and build strong relationships with others. The social media platforms offer the ways in which the identities of adolescents get molded sometimes because these platforms possess many challenges to the teenagers with which they need to overcome on the path of identity formulation. Social media, in this era, plays an important role in making adolescents realize who they are, and their purpose of existence in the world. The author agrees with the findings presented by the above two papers and also added that in today's era, it is important that adolescents have social media literacy. To understand the identity development among adolescents and the role of social media well in this, the author in this study has implemented some identity development theories. A survey program and feedback has done by the author to conduct qualitative research, and ANOVA has also been applied to analyze the quantitative findings. The author has overall identified that negative social media role in identity development may result in low self-esteem and poor mental health of adolescents. On the other hand, positive role demonstrated as effects like reduction in anxiety about the social representation of self, and development of a strong identity.
Role of the internet in the identity of adolescents
According to Granic, Morita and Scholten (2020), we are living in an era in which digital screens and the internet are no longer just a source of entertainment but the identity development of adolescents gets affected by the digital space. Virtual reality in today's era affects offline reality i.e., the real-life of adolescents. The major focus of authors in this study has been on examining the relation of screen time with the mental health of students. The authors have applied a functional approach to understanding how and why the aspect of the internet affects the identity development of adolescents. Identity development including especially the core development of adolescence through the internet can lead to either healthy mental conditions or unhealthy mental health among teenagers. The theoretical frameworks and narrative development theories have been presented to reach the aim of this study. It has been identified that the generation of young people- the adolescents are growing with the internet and this digital ecosystem has both negative and positive effects on their mental health. The impact of the internet on identity development depends upon the screen time of adolescents. The screen time includes time spent by teenagers on digital applications, surfing, or on any other platform which includes the usage of the internet. For the past many years, adolescents are living an offline life that is highly impacted through their virtual life- the life they have on the internet. During adolescence, major physical and psychological changes happen which get affected by the usage of the internet. The study findings have shown that after 2007, there has been a hike noticed in the effects of the internet on the identity developments of adolescents. It is because the involvement of adolescents on the internet has become high. The younger generation has adopted the internet as a part of their daily lives in such a way that their identity development, the physical and psychological activities of them cannot be considered without the internet now.
In the opinion of Borca et al (2015), the internet supports the achievement of identity development tasks of adolescents. The above article has identified that internet affects the identity development in both positive and negative ways, but authors in this study have argued that the internet plays the role only in a supportive manner. The authors have stated that the internet plays a significant role in the formation of the identity of adolescents, their autonomy, and the maintenance of relationships within society. The Internet gives an opportunity to adolescents to become aware of their interests and make them capable of comparing them with the interests of others to know the correct means of their social identity. The only concern authors have shown in the study which is negative about the usage of the internet is that it might create conflicts of adolescents with their parents. But it is not necessary that it generates conflict. It may also be helpful in developing healthy relationships with parents. The findings of this study suggested that the internet usage of adolescents affects their identity formation a lot. The findings have suggested that the internet gives a prominent context to teenagers for exploring their identity as self, among their school friends, family members, and peer groups. The author has argued that sometimes adolescents pretend to be someone else which means distorting their identity on the internet. Adolescents from their false identity to develop an ideal identity within the society.
The author Manago (2015), the teenagers i.e., the adolescents are growing in the an environment in which being active on the internet is a part of the culture. The author in this study has mainly focused on the use of the internet by adolescents and its potential influence on their identity development. The author has agreed with some of the findings of the above articles. The new statement given by authors in this study is that the internet allows adolescents to form their customized sociality and their self-expressions about identity perception among peers, family, and friends. Internet consumption among adolescents has become more and more in the past years which has enhanced its role in their identity development as a self and within the society as well. In the digital age, internet helps the teenagers to make a connection with peers and their parents as well. The Internet provides a new perspective to adolescents which helps to develop their identity as an individual. The Internet emphasizes maintaining the autonomy of identity development among adolescents. It provides opportunities for teenagers to form their identities well to fit with the definition of an ideal individual within the society.
Role of school information in the identity of adolescents
According to Verhoeven, Poorthuis and Volman (2019), school learning plays an important role in the development of adolescents' identity. The focus of authors in this study has been on the way school learning supports identity development. The authors have studied the ways in which schools especially the teachers influence the identity development of adolescents unintentionally. It has been stated that sometimes unintentionally, teachers at school communicate it to the teenagers who and how they should be ideally. This can be communicated to them through peer norms, selecting them for something or differentiating on some basis, or with the use of effective teaching strategies. The authors have also studied the ways in which teachers intentionally support adolescents in regard to their identity development. It has been identified that the teachers intentionally show their learning experiences to adolescents to inspire them for identity development, allow them to explore new identity options, and make them better understand their self-identity. The authors have also identified that sharing learning experiences helps the teachers to create a supportive classroom environment for adolescents to foster their identity development.
In the opinion of Abbasi (2016), the identity development of an individual begins with the infant age. The age of adolescence sets the foundation for identity development and it is a lifelong process. In adolescence, people go through physical and psychological changes, and they also develop social expectations from individuals. A school is a prominent place where these changes, the expectations are handled well. The author has agreed with the findings of the above article that the school environment supports the identity development of adolescents. The author has stated that school learning plays a crucial role in the effective identity development of adolescents. A school environment contains social, organizational, pedagogical, and other key elements which support identity development. The author has stated that the amount of time adolescents spend on school premises is very much which is one of the reasons it plays a crucial role in identity development. School learning includes the programs and activities which are immensely helpful in developing the identity of adolescents. School learning helps to develop effective interpersonal relationships, social interactions, particularly with classmates and teachers. In this way, the school can be a place that becomes prominent in exploring opportunities for identity development, socializing, and experimenting with different roles and relationships.
The author Ragelien? (2016) has given a new perspective on identity development in adolescents and the role of school learning in the same. It has been stated that an adolescent has to fight with the complexities of understanding the meaning of role vs identity in society. The author has also argued that a better sense of identity and role among adolescents leads to a better mental state which can be achieved through school learning. It is because healthy relationships with peers enable their sense of psychological and emotional development which leads to support in identity development. The author of this study has aimed to identify the relationship between identity development and peer relationships. The findings indicated that healthy peer relationships lead to better identity development. It has also been identified that school learnings can help in making the adolescents' relationships healthy with peers. It demonstrates that ultimately, school learning plays an important role in the effective identity development of adolescents. It is because, in school premises, children get engaged in interaction with teachers, communication activities, exploration programs, and social activities. Being a part of these activities helps in the development of the identity of adolescents.
Methodologies and Methods
The methodologies of this research can be defined as the tools and techniques, the research methods researcher will use to achieve the aim and objectives of this study, and to answer the research questions. The methodology of this research will be comprised of the techniques, procedures, and methods the researcher will use to analyze and process the research further to reach effective outcomes.
The design of research can be called the agenda of techniques and methods the researcher will use to conduct this study. The research design will allow explaining the type of this study to its audience. There are mainly four research designs available among which the researcher will choose the relevant one. There are majorly two types of research design i.e., qualitative and quantitative (Pandey and Pandey, 2021). The sub-designs include correlational, experimental, descriptive, and explanatory, and diagnostic research.
For this study, first of all, the researcher will use a qualitative design (Johnson Adkins and Chauvin, 2020). This design is explanatory in its nature and focuses mainly on an existing theory. Sticking on qualitative research design will help the researcher to draw an effective conclusion with reliable findings. In regards to sub-design, the researcher will use an explanatory research design (Wipulanusat et al, 2020). The researcher will choose this to make sure that the audience will get in-depth information about the topic by aiming to answer the research questions effectively. The explanatory design of research will help the researcher to also answer the why the aspect of research problem with its what aspect. This research design will go very well with this qualitative research.
Recruiting and Sampling
Recruiting the participants- the interviewees, selecting the sample (the interviewees) from the whole population is one of the significant tasks for the researcher. In qualitative research like this, the researcher has various recruiting and sampling options available with which sample can be selected (Campbell et al, 2020). The sampling process includes a selection of a sample from the population whereas, the recruitment process involves reaching out to the sample and taking their consent of whether they voluntarily be a part of the study or not (Bartlett, Milne and Croucher, 2019). The sampling techniques are categorized into two major areas including probability and non-probability sampling. Both the techniques have their further sampling methods from which the researcher will choose the relevant one. In probability sampling, the whole population has an equal opportunity of getting selected as a sample (the interviewees). On the other hand, in non-probability sampling, all the individuals of the population do not have equal chances of getting selected (Langer 2018).
For this research, the researcher will choose to go with non-probability sampling. The method of non-probability sampling that will be used by the researcher is convenience sampling. With the use of this sampling method, the researcher will choose the interviewees on the basis of accessibility and their willingness to take part in the study. Convenience sampling is one of the most suitable and relevant methods of non-probability sampling (Qureshi 2018). The research will use convenience sampling in this qualitative research because with these it will be easy and convenient to access the interviewees i.e., the sample. A convenient sampling includes making effective use of available resources and graphical location which makes sampling and recruitment processes convenient.
The sample (participants) of this study will be 30 adolescents.
People usually get confused with research methods and methodologies. These are different things because methodologies comprise techniques, procedures, and methods. The methods are a prominent part of methodologies. The research methods are ways in which the researcher will collect data for processing and completing the study (Ullah and Ameen, 2018). Choosing the correct method is prominent because it decides the whole findings and conclusion of the research.
As mentioned before in the proposal, this research will be qualitative because the researcher will choose to use a qualitative design (Turale 2020). So, the research will use a qualitative method to collect data for the study. There are various qualitative research methods available from which the research can choose the best suitable one for this study. The available qualitative methods to collect data include focus groups, observation, interviews, and case studies. For this study, the researcher will use an interview method to collect data (Islam and Aldaihani, 2022). There are two types of interviews the researcher can conduct including semi-structured and unstructured interviews. The researcher will conduct semi-structured interviews. With the use of the interview method, the researcher will ask the same question to different interviewees and keep their responses flexible to get honest answers. The researcher knows very well that conducting semi-structured interviews may result in the need of taking follow-ups with some interviewees. Conducting interviews will help the researcher to better understand and explain the point of view of adolescents over the research topic. The open-ended questions of interviews will allow collecting in-depth information for this research which will lead to answering the research questions satisfactorily.
The aim of considering and following research ethics is to do good to people and avoid harming them even unintentionally. The ethics of qualitative research that the researcher needs to consider include:
Intended Research Activities
Research activities include the stages of research on which the research reaches till the end of the study to achieve the research aim and objectives. There are mainly following eight research activities that will be included in this research and which will make this study complete:
The schedule can be best represented with the help of a Gantt Chart (Br?i? and Mlinari?, 2018). The following table and Gantt Chart represent the whole time frame in which this research will get completed.
This proposal concludes that it has aimed to identify the role of the internet, school information, and social media in the identity of adolescents. It has been identified that the research aim, objectives, and questions revolved around the topic very well. The research rationale has shown that the research will be mainly helpful for students and their parents. A literature review has been done and it has been identified that social media and the internet highly affect the identity development of adolescents. It has been identified that these may play both negative and positive roles in the development of identity among adolescents. It has been found out that school learning is also prominent in the identity formation of adolescents because they spend most of their time in school premises and be engaged in a lot of activities there. In regards to methodology, it has been identified that it will be qualitative research, the researcher will use an exploratory design, a convenience sampling method, and interviews to collect data. It has been found out through the proposal that the researcher will follow ethics like taking informed consent, maintenance of confidentiality, no harm no misconduct, etc. The research has been identified to be completed in seven weeks.
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