Digital self vs. real self: Gen Z in social media

„Digital self vs. real self: Die Gen Z in den sozialen Medien“ (2019)

Generation Z is a digital generation: 16 to 23-year-olds are "always on". For them, social media are both a means of expression and a staging platform. Young adults only present their best side online: stylish, experienced, successful and beautiful. At the same time, digital self-presentation often contrasts with the real self and the personal demeanour of Gen Z.

The GIM study takes a closer look at this discrepancy between Gen Z's "digital self" and "real self". The results of the representative study show which motives predominate for media self-presentation.

"Digital Self vs. Real Self" provides you with insights into the online behaviour of Gen Z, their self-perception and self-presentation. The roles of social media and different usage scenarios are also highlighted. The study also gives you insights into the (beauty) ideals that 16 to 23-year-olds pursue and how their attitudes and needs change over the years.

For whom is the study interesting?

This study is aimed in particular at managers in the beauty & personal care, fashion, sport and fitness, gaming and technology sectors.

Key data on the study

Publication: 2019

Method: Combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches

Focus: Young adults (Gen Z)

This study is only available in German!

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Central research questions

  • How does Gen Z behave on social media?
  • What motives does Gen Z pursue with self-presentation in social media?
  • What differences are there according to age, gender and medium?
  • What role do social media play in Gen Z's purchasing decisions?

Your key benefits from the study

  • You will gain insights into the digital identity of young people.
  • We will explain to you the extent to which social media influence consumer behaviour.
  • We will show you concrete applications of our findings.

Do you have questions about the study?

I will gladly advise you.

Tina Choi-Odenwald

Research Director