Scientific journal

New Psychological Research

Ayanyan A.N. Digital identity of youth – changing content and status (2018–2022)

Anna N. Ayanyan , Master (Psychology), Federal Scientific Center for Psychological and Interdisciplinary Research, Moscow, Russia; bld. 9–4, Mokhovaya str., Russia, Moscow, 125009;

At the conference "Personality Psychology: Cultural Practices of Human Potential Development" within the section "Personality Stability in a Fragile and Changing World," the results of an empirical study on changes in the digital identity of youth from 2018 to 2022 were presented. The formation of digital identity among youth in today's technological society occurs through user activity in the digital space. Individuals come to self-awareness through digital images constructed in the information space, these self-representations are characterized by flexibility and variability, undergoing constant changes during personal communication in the digital environment (Andreeva, 2022; Chernavin, 2022).

The aim of the report is to demonstrate changes in the content and status of the digital identity of contemporary youth over several years. During the period from 2018 to 2022, we organized and conducted a series of identity formation studies using methods such as "Who Am I," "Me in the Past. Me in the Present. Me in the Future," the author's projective drawing technique "Information Space" (Identity and socialization in the modern world, 2015), and semi-structured interviews. A total of 307 individuals participated in the study.

Through the analysis of respondents' self-descriptions, we identified "informational, digital" self-descriptions, which we categorized into five spheres of activity: self-descriptions using digital technology for entertainment; use of digital technology for productive purposes; digital technology for communication; digital technology for searching and obtaining information; digital technology for self-presentation and personal activities. Similar self-descriptions were found in the responses of 59% of respondents in 2018, 75% in 2020, and 87% of young people in 2022.

It is noteworthy that the majority of respondents who participated in the study in 2020 and 2021 quickly and easily adapted to the increase and expansion of spheres of digital activity and the transition to distance and hybrid forms of learning due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there were those who encountered difficulties of both subjective and objective nature. Subjective experiences voiced by study participants include problems with concentration on studies, procrastination, a sense of tension due to the unchanging environment and routine. Objective difficulties include the lack of opportunity for solitude due to cramped living conditions, the constant presence of younger siblings, and other relatives at home.

In 2022, we obtained data showing that among the respondents there was a "migration" of users to other social networks not subject to legislative restrictions. Active users of prohibited social networks noted the necessity of using VPN services, as well as the spread of phenomena such as doomscrolling/doomsurfing, hate speech in the space of social networks, associated with concerns about political and social changes in the country and the world.


Key words: digital everyday life, digital identity, informational self-descriptions, user activity, youth


For citation: Ayanyan, A.N. (2024). Digital identity of youth – changing content and status (2018–2022). New Psychological Research, No. 1, 198–201. DOI: 10.51217/npsyresearch_2024_04_01_12



The study was conducted within the framework of the state assignment FNRE-2024-0016 «Psychological Effects of Digitization of the Educational Environment: Opportunities for Cognitive and Personal Development and Risks of Socialization».


Keywords: digital everyday life digital identity informational self-descriptions user activity youth

Received: 03rd april 2024

Published: 03rd april 2024

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