Identity Development in the Multicultural World - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1457 Words
Date:  2022-11-02


Growth and development are important steps in people's lives. Growth is characterized by the physical changes in a person's body such as the increase in height, weight, and muscular formation. Contrary, development characterizes growth in terms of function and capability. The two processes are dependent on factors such as genetics, nutrition, and environmental aspects. Nevertheless, today, social media has also impacted the growth and development process of people of all ages both in a positive and negative dimension. Young people, especially children, and teenagers use social media as an ingenious communication and educational tool. Nevertheless, the same demographic can use social media channels as platforms for building unhealthy relationships marred by socially unacceptable behaviors like the abuse of drugs and indulgence in promiscuity. The following research is a comparative analysis of child and adolescent development, a discussion of identity development in the multiracial world, and an analysis of adolescents' relationship with the virtual world.

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Identity in the Multiracial World

Unlike in the past, today, people from different racial and ethnic groupings can interact with ease due to the invention of social media platforms. The ability to communicate instantly with others in distant parts of the globe has directly impacted on the process of growth and development of numerous people. The growth and development of children and adolescents have been largely impacted as social media has changed the manner in which the two demographics define their social identities. Subsequently, the quest to attain the perceived ideal identities have altered the behavioral patterns of children and adolescents, which are key aspects of growth and development.

Children who use social media sites like Facebook, Snap Chat, Instagram and Twitter tend to identify personalities with whom they admire and would aspire to be like in certain stages of their growth and development. In most cases, children identify such stated personalities with various forms of influence like celebrity status in fashion, art, and music. As a result, such great levels of admiration often change most children's behavior, whereby they adopt the admirable characters of their social media celebrities and make them be their own aspects of social identity. Contrary, whereas the same phenomenon may be the same in adolescents, teenagers largely use social media sites to define their own identities and influence how their peers perceive them within their social environment.

The disparity between children and adolescents in the definition of their social identity through social media is caused by the variation in their stage of growth and development that is physical, emotionally and mentally. The young mind of a child identifies the aspects that may appear appealing to him/her from his/her social media icons. Additionally, this means that children do not have a self-conceptualized character preference that they can refer to so as to build their social identity. Instead, they shape their behavior and character attributes based on the discernible qualities they view from other people, mostly older than them, in the social environment. Contrary, adolescents use social media to mark their own identity which can be characterized by visible behavioral aspects such as mode of clothing, talking, and walking among others. That is with the primary goal of securing acceptance from their peers in their chosen social environment.

Adolescents Relationships with the Virtual World

Today, social media plays an integral part in defining the adolescents' relationships in different parts of the world. In most cases, such relationships are guided by the merits and demerits of using social media as a multiracial communication tool. The pros of using social media help adolescents in the creation of healthy social relationships among themselves and also the vice versa applies. Additionally, this premise is founded on the reason that developing adolescents tend to make friends with people with whom they share common interests. The premise can also explain the reason why adolescents' relationships today are differentiated in groups, with each team having distinct common qualities.

For instance, some adolescents form a friendship with their peers on social media networks due to common interests such as love for travel, food, fashion, and music among others. Unlike in children where social media relationships are founded on the interests that the developing kids have on certain social media personnel, similar relationships among adolescents occur due to self-conceived interests and ideas. There are a number of positive qualities that are attained by adolescents as a result of using social media. For instance, through social media, the adolescents become more informed about the occurrence of various current events and they also find it easier to perform research work by contacting their peers on social media networks.

Social media use also boosts the self-esteem of adolescents among their peers and it also enables teenagers with various forms of disabilities to interact and have fun on the same level as other teenagers. Social media use also assists adolescents to get jobs, keeps the teens updated with information on current technologies and exposes them to the knowledge of identifying cyberbullying. Through such collective benefits of using social media, adolescents may tend to develop relationships that are beneficial to them and their friends. Ordinary, relationships formed through social media platforms may end in the event the unifying factors like love for technology, music, and fashion among others end. Nevertheless, some adolescents may choose to remain friends outside the confines of social media networks even in their later stages of human development.

The negative factors associated with social media platforms can also contribute to the friendship formation among adolescents. Examples of the demerits of social media platform users include exposure to cyberbullying and drugs and substance abuse (Yonker et al., 2015). Also, adolescents could also develop psychosocial issues from the excessive use of social media platforms (Spies & Margolin, 2014). Examples of such psychosocial problems include depression, stress, low self-esteem, isolation, and anxiety among others (Spies & Margolin, 2014). Adolescents who are regular users of social media platforms can also attain dissatisfaction with their body size or indulge in socially disapproved behaviors such as promiscuity (Landry et al., 2017). The negative pressure that is associated with the overindulgence in social media interaction leads some adolescents to form social relationships with individuals that could be detrimental to their growth and development.

Example, adolescents that enjoy watching seminude pictures of their peers on Facebook or drunken photos of their peers on Instagram may have a behavioral change in support of such acts. In addition, to such form of relationships, the stated adolescents could develop relationships with others who enjoy posing naked and abuse alcoholic beverages. In such cases, the relationships formed by the adolescents could be destructive and affect their overall process of growth and development. Adolescent social media groups that regularly participate in social functions with alcohol and promiscuity could become addicted to alcohol and get infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) (Landry et al., 2017). Such occurrences among adolescents can directly affect their health and render them unable to progress optimally in their social lives.


In conclusion, growth and development are imperative steps life. Growth is characterized by the physical changes that take place in a person's body like the increase in height, weight, and muscular formation while development characterizes growth in terms of function and capability. Today, people from different racial and ethnic groupings can interact with ease due to the invention of social media technologies. As a result, the overindulgence in social media communication has affected the growth and development process of people, mostly children, and teenagers. Today, through social media, children identify themselves with their favorite icons on social media platforms from multiracial societies. Teenagers, on the other hand, develop their own identity and then use social media platforms to broadcasts their acquired attributes to the multiracial social media users. That is with the primary objective of securing social approval from their peers. Social media also plays an integral part in influencing the formation of friendship among adolescents in the virtual world. In most cases, such relationships are guided by the merits and demerits of using social media as a multiracial communication tool. Conclusively, the similarity of interests among adolescents on either the meriting or disconcerting attributes of social media use can base the formation of healthy or destructive relationships among teenagers.


Landry, M., Turner, M., Vyas, A., & Wood, S. (2017). Social Media and Sexual Behavior among Adolescents: Is there a link? JMIR public health and surveillance, 3(2), e28. doi:10.2196/publichealth.7149

Spies Shapiro, L. A., & Margolin, G. (2014). Growing up wired: social networking sites and adolescent psychosocial development. Clinical child and family psychology review, 17(1), 1-18.

Yonker, L. M., Zan, S., Scirica, C. V., Jethwani, K., & Kinane, T. B. (2015). "Friending" teens: a systematic review of social media in adolescent and young adult health care. Journal of medical Internet research, 17(1), e4. doi:10.2196/jmir.3692

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