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Use of Instagram by Brunei Youths

Full Title : Visible and Influential: Muslim Bruneian Youths’ use of Instagram for Self-Branding & Identity Expression

Funding Amount : BND 8,315

Start Date : 2018

Completion Date : 2020

Principal Investigator : Siti Mazidah Hj Mohamad

Co-investigators : Yong Liu and Hjh Fatimah Hj Chuchu

Brief Outline

Most young people are taking to online sites to express their individualities and narrating their selves via their everyday self-disclosure. In Brunei Darussalam, Instagram is seemingly use actively as a space and/or as a tool to express one’s self and identity. In a short span of time, we witness distinct and innovative social practices such as the growth of Bruneian contemporary Muslim fashion industry, fed by these young people’s compulsion to share everyday activities on their social media. By observing young Muslim Bruneians online sharing on their Instagram profiles could provide us a window into the society’s dynamic socio-cultural and religious fabrics. This surge of individualised sharing by young Muslim Bruneians led the researchers to question the individual’s intention of their own sharing practices, and if they intentionally and strategically take advantage of the user-driven sharing capability of social media for self-branding and self-development. Via personal conversations with young Muslim Bruneians and supplemented by observation of their Instagram activities and a survey, the researchers aim to reveal their self-disclosure practices on their Instagram profile, their future aspirations connected to their self-disclosure, and finally, to portray the power social media has in shaping the future of the young generations in Brunei.

Brief Objectives

  1. to explore how Muslim Bruneian youths use social media
  2. to explore their self-disclosure practices on Instagram
  3. to explore the motivations behind these self-disclosure practices and their influence on an individual’s self-branding efforts
  4. to explore the strategies they employ to achieve this personal brand

Significance of the Research

Community Development:

This research provides deeper understanding of Muslim Bruneian youths’ everyday experiences online that are also influenced by their offline day to day interactions. This research is envisioned to provide an insight into Bruneian active use of social media for own self-development, which can help us study the power of social media in the lives of the young generation.

Institutional Development:

Research data from this research can be used as baseline data for future research on young people and socio-technological development.