A key question people ask themselves as they move through adolescence is "Who am I?" The great developmental psychologist Erik Erikson believed that the role of adolescence is to answer this question and become secure in one's identity. Failing to adequately answer this inquiry can leave a person confused about their values, relationships and what they want out of life.

"Who am I?" is such a vast, open-ended question that it can be hard to even begin to contemplate. However, a tangible place to start is by analyzing your Facebook page. While Facebook is mainly used to connect with friends and family, it can also help a person gain insight into their own values and personality. While this is not a scientific approach, it is a fun way to help answer the question "Who am I?"

In analyzing your Facebook page, ask yourself the following questions:

What areas of my life are overrepresented in my profile? Examine your comments, photos, and the likes and interests section to see if any one part of your life saturates your profile. For example, you may find that your profile makes it seem like all you do is party. Think about why it is important for you to strongly present this aspect of your life to others.

What areas of my life are underrepresented in my profile? Look to see if any important aspects of your life, such as family or academic successes, are given little attention on your profile page. Think about why you hold back sharing certain parts of your life with the world.

What are the themes of my photo albums? Upon examination, some people may find that the photographs they share have a common theme such as travel, partying or personal artwork. What do the photos you chose to share say about where you have been and what you have done?

Do I value privacy or am I an open book? Your privacy settings and how much personal information you share with others may be reflective of how much you share in your personal relationships as well. If you have high privacy settings and limit what you post, you may be a more private and guarded person. If you don't, you may also freely share personal information with others in your day-to-day life.

How many "friends" do I have? Introverts often find rewards in maintaining small, close-knit groups of friends while extraverts often enjoy meeting new people and having a wide social network of acquaintances. The number of Facebook friends you maintain may be an indication of how you prefer to socialize in the real world.

About the Author

Kathryn Stamoulis Ph.D.

Kathryn Stamoulis, Ph.D., teaches at psychology at Hunter College, and specializes in adolescent and sexual development.

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