Date of Completion


Thesis Type

College of Arts and Science Honors



First Advisor

Nikki Khanna


connection, social media, generational studies, self presentation


This is an exploratory qualitative study on two cohort groups, college-educated white women in Generation X and college-enrolled white women in Generation Z, and their use of social media. I interviewed five women from each group to collect data on their online behavior or rather, their perception of their online behavior. The study focuses on two main areas of analysis which are referred to as the presentation of self and fostering connection. Presentation of self refers to the way the participants use social media as a tool to control others’ perceptions of them through the curation of the content they post or share. Fostering connection concerns the way participants use social media to form and maintain connections and community in different spheres of their life. This study provides a deeper understanding and a greater sociological context into an addictive force in the lives of people in vastly different generations.