Should you welcome your mom to Instagram or TikTok?


Instagram, TikTok, Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp… Social networks and instant messaging have invaded our daily lives for better and worse. Because of them habits appeared, blessed by some but hated by others, which reveal our society. “L’Obs” dissects them here.

Smoky eyes, lips wearing the same bright red as her Louis Vuitton jumpsuit and shoulder bag, with boats moored in Monaco harbor in the background after dark. On her Instagram account, Pauline has mastered all the codes of a certain youth, who knows how to stage her life to show its luxury.

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Far from digital illusions, she is a young woman from the privileged middle class who runs around tea rooms in jeans, far from the bling-bling elements she shows on social networks. “When my mom added me on Instagram a year ago, I felt uncomfortable with the idea that she could access this photo that I sent back to me”recalls twenty-somethings, who willingly admit to participating in a culture of self-presentation. “It’s strange, it doesn’t bother me that people my age, who sometimes I don’t know, can have access to my private life, when I want to hide these things from my mother”he summed up.

“When my mom added me on Instagram six months ago, I didn’t accept her. He did too bad, so I gave up and switched to another private account”, recalls Edouard, 22 years old. The young man does not produce discomfort, but he does not want to face his digital identity with the image that his mother may have of him every day. ” I used to sometimes post videos where I was drunk. I posted a lot of pictures of outings, in clubs. Even if he knows I go out and smoke, I don’t want him to see that.”he explains.

Build your identity

This “ashamed” what Pauline and Edouard are referring to is completely normal, according to psychologist Michaël Stora. “Young people use social networks to form their identity, and it is important for them to do this without their parents and their peers watching”, he explains. During this period of life, a person examines his identity in the form of a different position. And every click, every likeconfirms or invalidates the idea we have of ourselves, what we should give back to others in social networks.

An observation confirmed by Pauline: “I feel that my Instagram account corresponds to people my age who have the same codes as me. As soon as I add someone who is not in this environment, who is not boasting or self-presentation, I feel uncomfortable “he says. “Finally, when you make a digital image, you target specific people. Of course, your mother is never one of them. »

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Michaël Stora, who headed the psychological unit of the Skyrock blogging platform, remembers the different pages that feed young users. “Many of them have several, including one that they can present to their parents and others that relate to other aspects of their lives, cultural, sexual or otherwise”he reported.

The psychologist mentions a paradox, which Pauline already mentioned: “It is completely contradictory to want to be seen by everyone – all peers, anyway – and, at the same time, do not want parents, who know their children, to witness this activity in the social network and the self-staging carried out by their children. »

A cultural and technical gap

This difference between the habits of young people and their parents in social networks constitutes a classic conflict of generations, according to psychologist Vanessa Lalo. “Older people don’t have codes for new skills and that creates a gaphe believes Every generation faces this problem, from rock music to social media, manga and video games, verlan or rap. »

Edouard remembers this old fashion on Facebook, which consists in imitating the comments of adults, written like postcards under the photos. “My grandfather reacted to my photos and didn’t understand that it was a comment and not a private message. My friends and I laughed so hard. We signed our comments with “Bises” to imitate them”said the young man.

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“The idea is to create a distance to distinguish oneself from the previous generation, it involves centers of interest, the use of social networks… Everything is a reason to invent codes so that the oldest is full, Vanessa Lalo continued. Today, we observe it more violently as a technical gap is added to the cultural gap. » A distance that narrows with age, when identity formation is complete in youth.

Like Edouard, who gradually visits social networks: “Now, when I post something, it’s mainly to let my friends know I’m there, so they can join me outside, for example. My mom can see this, I know she doesn’t care a bit and she probably did the same when she was younger. »

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