Research Projects

Current Projects

Invisible Behaviors on and beyond Social Media

Collaborator: Nicole Ellison

This project focuses on types of communication that occur across channels and their implications for our relationships. Specifically, we focus on actions that are invisible–to the log data and to the receiver. For example, if your latest status update on Facebook has turned off certain ties and caused them to not respond to the post, as well as to avoid you at the next party, this action is not registered anywhere. Alternatively, if someone holds a higher opinion of you because of what they learned online about you and talks to you more in person (without responding on online platforms), their motivation is not recorded.

These invisible actions are increasingly common and significant in the emerging media landscape and represent a shortcomings for single-channel studies–including those using log data. This project seeks to develop a framework to understand them and study their implications empirically.

Identity Shift on Social Media

Collaborator: Nicole Ellison

How does our public self-presentation influence our own self-perception? This is the question of my pre-candicacy project. I conducted an experimental study investigating identity shift–the process whereby people adjust their self-perception after presenting themselves a certain way publicly–in the social network site environment.

Availability, Quality of Everyday Interactions, and Social Capital

Collaborators: Joe Bayer, Nicole Ellison, Emily Falk, and Sarita Schoenebeck

We collected three types of data: (1) survey measurements of a range of socio-personality variables, such as availability preferences and Big 5, (2) ESM surveys capturing aspects of everyday interactions, such as enjoyment and channel, and (3) users’ Facebook network data. With this set of data, we gained insights into the interrelationships among individuals’ social-personality tendencies, characteristics of of everyday interaction, and social capital outcomes.

Social Media Relational Maintenance in the Communication Channel Ecology

Collaborators: Nicole Ellison, Xuan Zhao, and Cliff Lampe

Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, we combined qualitative interviews of people’s usage of social media—as contextualized in their usage of other communication channels—and quantitative survey data of users social media behaviors and perceived benefits. The focal point of analysis is users’ relational maintenance behaviors and related social capital processes.

I presented on this work at the Grace Hopper Conference 2016.

Past Project

Teenagers’ Anonymous Online Interactions via Ask.fm

Collaborators: Nicole Ellison, Lindsay Blackwell, & Cliff Lampe

We interviewed teenagers about their usage of the anonymous Q&A site ask.fm, centering on their perceptions of and practices on the site. The affordances of ask.fm situate the ability to be anonymous in a known context—prominently the high school social context. We uncovered several implications for teens’ social and identity processes through the site.

We published an article in Social Media + Society featuring this work and presented a paper at the International Communication Association Conference 2016.

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