“Spontaan Jezelf Kunnen zijn Online?!”
Leeuwen, A. van
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Objective. Today's youth is the generation who grew up with social media and that makes it a hot topic. The society has not created a space for learning and self-development on the internet yet. However, the internet can be a place where girls can be themselves, especially for those with different ethnic-cultural backgrounds. This study will look at how girls (16-24 years) with different ethnic-cultural backgrounds, experience self-development through vlogging in the digital world in contrast to offline experiences. Method. This study was conducted through semi structured interviews, observations and self-reflection. Subsequently the data was analysed with Nvivo. Results. The subjects that stand out in the interviews were ‘interaction’, ‘who am I’, ‘taboo’, ‘support’, ‘creating autonomy’ and ‘establishing their own ideals’. The results shows that they really can be themselves online and that all the girls want to mean something for their followers. These girls have the feeling that they learn more about the reality through vlogging and they see school more like a place where you can learn from the books. Besides that they feel like they are stronger than they were before using the social media. Conclusion. Together, these findings suggest that the participants are well aware of their future dreams and reasons why they chose vlogging. Opening-up to interaction and learning seems to play a big role in self-development and ethnic-identity formation in the digital world. Especially for those girls with different ethnic-cultural backgrounds who are not free to do this at home.