A study of 1,000 18-25-year-olds found more than a fifth generally don’t like to expose their true personality, with three in 10 being more self-expressive ‘online’ as opposed to ‘offline’.
As many as 58 percent find having an online presence makes them feel more comfortable in their own skin, while 34 percent think this is made easier when taking on a persona.
Lack of confidence, pressure from society and judgement from others are among the top reasons why young people struggle with being themselves.
And while half own up to having a ‘secret’ alter ego where nobody knows the real them, 55 percent often try and use social media to try and make their life seem more exciting than it really is.
50 Years Of One Of The Most Famous Alter-Egos
The research was commissioned by Adobe to mark the launch of its new range of David Bowie-inspired digital tools, created in partnership with Bowie 75 to mark his 75th birthday and the 50th anniversary of one of his most beloved alter egos – Ziggy Stardust.
The study found that although 40 percent think being comfortable in your own skin is something that comes with age, more than a fifth reckon they won’t show their true colours until they reach their 40s.
And 59 percent reckon they’ll one day look back on their younger self and wish they had been more comfortable with who they were.
Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are the top platforms young people use the most to be self-expressive.
While music (30 percent) and fashion (27 percent) were named the best ways to truly show who you are.
The research, carried out via OnePoll, also found two-thirds have been positively influenced by a public figure – with Harry Styles, Zendaya and David Bowie featuring in the top 20 list.
For half of Gen Z, these people have inspired them to look after what’s important to them, while 45 percent have been encouraged to be more creative.
But seven in 10 believe society is on the right path to breaking down all barriers to become more self-expressive and authentic in the future.