This essay discusses the functions of solitary media use within the ongoing daily emotional lives of adolescents. I review evidence suggesting that adolescents find in solitary TV watching and especially music listening, the opportunity, first, to cultivate a newly discovered private self: teens use media to explore numerous possible selves including those that are desired and feared. Second, I propose that solitary media experiences provide adolescents an important context for dealing with stress and negative emotion. Popular music listening allows adolescents to internalize strong emotional images around which a temporary sense of self can cohere.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)