Social media users are opening up about the double life they’re portraying across online platforms.

One of the latest TikTok trends addresses the double persona of users by comparing how they present themselves online versus in real life. The trend begins with a headshot image with the words “Who You Think You’re Emailing” typed across the video. The still photo cuts to videos showing more personality while participating in a fun activity such as a party. Both depictions in the video are opposites, representing how people have mastered the art of tailoring themselves on and offline.

The double persona seen across the videos sheds light on a bigger shift. In a survey conducted by OnePoll, researchers found that almost half of Gen Z feel disconnected from who they are online versus in person. Survey participants revealed the disconnect coincides with the lack of understanding they receive from their family and friends.

The survey was part of a social experiment hosted by Lenovo’s “Work For Humankind” project called “Meet Your Digital Self.” To show how technology can be a tool to close the disconnect between the online and digital world, Lenovo brought two Gen Z avatars to life. These avatars resembled real-life individuals and created to foster meaningful conversations. 

From the survey, experts discovered that 53 percent of Gen Z participants found it easier to express themselves online. However, this group was among many to chime in about the lack of in-person connection. Research of 2,000 people polled showed that 49 percent of Millennials and 35 percent of Gen X shared similar sentiments. 

Experts have linked mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, to the use of social media. Social experiments such as this one are aiming to find a solution that enables greater connection and deeper understanding between people.