Semantics of Life Models in the Information Field of Social Networks



In the context of the rapid development of the information environment, a person’s life path, identity, and the living space of an individual are not only presented in real life, but also in the virtual world, as well as in augmented reality. The mixing of virtual and real spaces cannot but affect the daily life of young people. This article attempts to describe and structure the elements of life models as fragments of a life scenario, broadcast through communities in social networks. The social network VKontakte has become a meaningful field for analysis as it is the most popular and frequently used online platform in the information space for the purpose of transmitting interesting and relevant information among Russian peers. The starting point of the study was the assumption that the content of social network posts describing the spheres of life can serve as a basis for building elements of life models broadcast on the Internet. The research consisted of several stages: preparatory (questioning young people about their preferred Internet content) and the main one (semantic and content analysis of the content of social networks). The sample of the preparatory stage was 110 respondents, the average age was 22 years (SD = 2.8). The main sample consisted of over 200,000 posts from the top 20 social media communities (with an average of 4 million subscribers, with entertainment and non- themed content) over the past 2 years. With the help of special program codes and computer programs, the posts devoted to the most significant spheres of human activity were analyzed. It was found that the most popular marker words denoting areas of life in posts are work, relationships, and family. The data of automated semantic and content analysis showed that most often, through posts in communities, a model of an active and purposeful person is declared. This is an individual who is ready for action, flexible, mobile with respect to work and self- development, but conservative in regard to building family relationships. The results obtained confirm the assumption that the characteristics of the components of life models are presented most vividly in the posts of Internet communities, are actively broadcast, and have their own characteristics. The results of the research data can contribute to the study of the main mechanisms of transmission between contemporaries of characteristics of behavior in real life, values and information through Internet content, as well as the work of practicing psychologists when referring to the profile on social networks or preferred client communities.

General Information

Keywords: life models, social networks, intragenerational transmission, youth, Internet content, semantic space

Journal rubric: Empirical and Experimental Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The study was supported by the RFBR grant, project no. 18-013-00599.

For citation: Kostromina S.N., Odintsova M.M. Semantics of Life Models in the Information Field of Social Networks. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2021. Vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 24–47. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2021.102. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Svetlana N. Kostromina, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of Personality Department, Department of Psychology, St. Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Marei M. Odintsova, Assistant at the Department of Personality Psychology, Saint-Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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