Social media reinforces the idea that one’s life is interesting for others. People share what they eat and what they do during the day as they think that other people are monitoring each action of them. Here, it is evident that social media is amplifying the sense of personal fable by providing ground to the expression of freedom. Teenagers grow up with their social media accounts, and their desire to work with an “imaginary audience” as on stage is understandable, thus I agree with this claim. By analysis of a sample consisting of 1184 adolescents aged 12–18 in South Africa, Popovac and Hadlington (2020) reported that egocentrism is the main factor driving the sense of personal fable. Egocentrism is determined by the online behavior of teenagers as they have a fear of missing out, thus trying to be the center of events. Moreover, by receiving comments on their online posts, teenagers obtain recognition, hence increasing their egocentrism.
With regards to social media sites, it seems that some platforms amplify the expression of the imaginary audience more than others due to their features. For example, Instagram is a social media site that requires constant sharing of what you are doing, with whom you spend time, and how you enjoy your life. In contrast, Snapchat seems a moderate platform that is used by teenagers as the means of communication rather than showing up themselves. Indeed, teenagers develop their personalities, and they want to be recognized by others for doing the right or “cool” things. Therefore, they try to find ways of how to share their experience, even the imagined one with their peers and whom they need attraction from.
Popovac, M., & Hadlington, L. (2020). Exploring the role of egocentrism and fear of missing out on online risk behaviours among adolescents in South Africa. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25(1), 276-291.