Social media as a source of self-identity formation : challenges and opportunities for youth ministry

Ogibi, Joshua Dickson (2015-12)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Social media are technological media (websites) that create a digital environment for networking between network users who interface and share information with each other. Social media network users use these media on different platforms, such as social networking sites – to share information and network with offline and online friends; wikis – to share, modify, create and disseminate information; and blogs – to create content and interface with network followers. These three platforms of social media disseminate information that influences the self-identity formation of young people. The self-identity formation of young people is both discovered and developed. The discovery of self-identity entails an understanding of humanity as God’s created being – created for His purpose and mission. The developed identity entails that young people go through different phases of life that shape their self-identity formation. These different phases are influenced by different social institutions such as social media. Social media as a source of information dissemination influence young people’s self-identity by creating a digital continent where all sorts of uncensored information is disseminated. This digital continent is used for whatsoever purpose. This fact – that social media create a complex digital continent that influences self-identity formation – is what led to this research study to investigate how do social media influence the self-identity formation of young people? To investigate this research question, this research employed conceptual analysis to give conceptual clarity of words and concept. In situating this research study within the field of practical theology, Osmer’s theological framework was adopted to understudy the research title, social media as a source of self-identity formation: Challenges and opportunities for youth ministry. Youth ministry guides young people to discover their self-identity in God and equips them to influence their friends (offline and online friends) and fellow network users. Social media as a digital continent also creates platforms for youth ministry to incarnate and influence young people’s self-identity by disseminating biblical and theological information that has the potential to help young people create a healthy self-identity formation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sosiale media is tegnologiese media (webblaaie) wat ’n digitale omgewing skep vir netwerking tussen netwerkgebruikers wat ’n koppelvlak skep vir hulle om met mekaar inligting te deel. Sosiale netwerkgebruikers gebruik hierdie media op verskillende platforms, soos sosiale netwerkingsruimtes – om met aflyn- en aanlynvriende inligting te deel en met hulle te netwerk; wiki’s – om inligting te deel, te modifiseer, te skep en te versprei; en webjoernale (blogs) – om inhoud te skep en netwerkvolgers van ’n koppelvlak te voorsien. Hierdie drie sosiale media platforms versprei inligting wat die selfidentiteitsvorming van jong mense beïnvloed. Die selfidentiteit van jong mense word beide ontdek en ontwikkel. Die ontdekking van selfidentiteit behels ’n begrip van mensheid as God se geskape wese – geskep vir Sy doel en missie. Die ontwikkelde identiteit behels dat jong mense deur verskillende lewensfases gaan wat hulle selfidentiteitsvorming vorm. Hierdie verskillende fases word deur verskillende maatskaplike instellings, soos sosiale media, beïnvloed. Die sosiale media as ’n bron van inligtingsverspreiding beïnvloed jong mense se selfidentiteit deur ’n digitale vasteland te skep waar ’n groot verskeidenheid van ongesensureerde inligting versprei word. Hierdie digitale vasteland word vir wat ook al doel gebruik. Hierdie feit – dat sosiale media ’n digitale vasteland vir invloed skep – is wat tot hierdie navorsing gelei het, naamlik om ondersoek in te stel na hoe jeugbediening jong mense se selfidentiteitsvorming op sosiale media as ’n bron van selfidentiteitsvorming: Uitdagings en geleenthede vir die jeugbediening. Die jeugbediening lei jong mense in die ontdekking van hulle selfidentiteit in God en rus hulle toe om hulle vriende (aflyn- en aanlynvriende) en medenetwerkgebruikers te beïnvloed. Die sosiale media as ’n digitale vasteland skep ook ’n platform vir die jeugbediening om jong mense se selfidentiteit te inkarneer en te beïnvloed deur Bybelse en teologiese inligting te versprei wat die potensiaal het om jong mense by te staan om ’n gesonde selfidentiteit te skep.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97862
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