‘You Can’t Do Anything Right’: How Adolescents Experience and Navigate the Achievement Imperative on Social Media

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Abstrakt

The rise in mental health issues among youth has been linked to an emergence of an achievement imperative, causing a rise in personal expectations and achievement demands, with social media highlighted as a significant contributor to these developments. This study examined experiences of achievement demands on social media and well-being through focus groups and individual interviews with early adolescents (n = 80, ages 12–16 years). Achievement demands and a culture of perfection, along with their negative effects hereof, were mainly experienced in relation to adolescents’ public digital lives and, particularly among the youngest adolescents, the quantity and frequency of communication with friends. Achievement practices were structured by gender, with higher expectations for girls to present self-centred idealized and attractive versions of themselves. Boys were more often expected to appear social, active and prosperous. Sexual presentations of girls and self-centred pictures of boys were often considered distasteful and associated with lower-class culture.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftYoung
ISSN1103-3088
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 18 jul. 2022

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