1. This study explores how Millennials express their gender identities on social media platforms, specifically Instagram and Facebook.
2. The research identifies a discourse of authenticity in which individuals attempt to present their gender as authentically as possible online, while also navigating gender fluidity and gender policing.
3. Four strategies were identified that individuals use to negotiate and navigate their gendered self-presentation online: Empowering, Keeping It Real, Bracketing, and Online Masking.
The article "Self-presentation and gender on social media: an exploration of the expression of “authentic selves”" explores how Millennials express their gender identities on image-based social media platforms, specifically Facebook and Instagram. The study uses a qualitative approach, including in-depth interviews and a collage technique, to understand how individuals navigate their expressions of gender online. The article highlights the pervading discourse of authenticity on social media and the strategies individuals use to negotiate gender fluid expressions and engage in gender policing.
The article provides a thorough literature review that contextualizes the research within prior work on gender and digital contexts. However, the article could benefit from more discussion around potential biases in the study's methodology. For example, the sample size is relatively small, consisting of only 17 Millennial informants who are predominantly college-educated and reside in various cities in the Midwest. This limited sample may not be representative of all Millennials or diverse populations.
Additionally, while the article acknowledges that authenticity is contested and unattainable for some individuals, it does not fully explore how this concept may be problematic or reinforce societal norms around gender expression. The focus on authenticity may also overlook other factors that influence self-presentation online, such as social pressure or desire for attention.
Furthermore, while the article identifies four strategies individuals use to navigate their gendered self-presentation online (Empowering, Keeping It Real, Bracketing, Online Masking), it does not fully explore potential risks associated with these strategies. For example, engaging in empowering self-expression may lead to backlash or harassment from others who disagree with one's views.
Overall, while the article provides valuable insights into how Millennials express their gender identities on social media platforms, it could benefit from more critical analysis around potential biases and limitations in its methodology and a more nuanced discussion around concepts like authenticity and risk associated with different self-presentation strategies.