Analyzing the Digital Self of Hyphenated Identities Through Their Language Usage in Social Media: Twitter Usage of Turkish-German Citizens

Researcher (CIMS)

Dila Naz Madenoglu

Supervisor (CIMS)

Sofie Van Bauwel

Co-supervisor (CIMS)

Sander De Ridder



Social media is an interactive platform lets the users present themselves to other users. The users of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc., develop a digital identity and the way they use these platforms, shape their digital selves. As distinct from the self that people create on real life, the digital self, let them to be whoever they want and act however they like. People who usually create multiple selves on their real life, such as transnational, hyphenated identities (e.g. Turkish-German) could create multiple digital selves on social media platforms as well. Just as they do in real life, they shift between two or more languages on social media. The focus group on this project is the Turkish-German (Turkish origin people living in Germany) users on Twitter. The aim is to find out the language they prefer to use under certain circumstances, thus to discover if they present different digital selves to different language speakers. For this project, the survey and in-depth interview method will be used. The participants will fill out a questionnaire about their language usage, to reveal if they present themselves differently to Turkish speakers and German speakers, videlicet, if they build more than one digital selves. After that, in-depth interviews with the selected users will take place to understand the reason of their answers.  ​