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Laura Brewer, Ph.D. Chong Ho Yu, Ph.D. Samuel DiGangi, Ph.D. Angel Jannasch-Pennell, Ph.D. Academic/Non-academic Use of Social Networking Software and.

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Presentation on theme: "Laura Brewer, Ph.D. Chong Ho Yu, Ph.D. Samuel DiGangi, Ph.D. Angel Jannasch-Pennell, Ph.D. Academic/Non-academic Use of Social Networking Software and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Laura Brewer, Ph.D. Chong Ho Yu, Ph.D. Samuel DiGangi, Ph.D. Angel Jannasch-Pennell, Ph.D. Academic/Non-academic Use of Social Networking Software and “Identity Crisis” Paper presented at NET@EDU 2009

2 2 Applied Learning Technologies Institute (alt^I) We are dedicated to the advancement of higher education through research, collaboration, and action We are comprised of six core areas: –Research and Community Outreach –Learning Technologies –New Media Studio –Distributed Learning –Technology Integration –Media Distribution Systems

3 3 Overview Research Question Brief Review of the Literature Project Methodology Findings Implications Future Research Q/A

4 4 Research Questions Identity theft or IDM is NOT the focus of this study; rather, our focus is about self- identification or self-profiling. How are today’s undergraduate students using social networking software (SNS) applications as part of their campus lives in both academic and non-academic ways? Is there profile segmentation?

5 5 Definition Social Network vs. Social Networking –danah boyd and Nicole Ellison differentiate and prefer “Social Network,” as the emphasis is on the ability to articulate and communicate one’s social network rather than on the process of initiating relationships (2007) –We use the term “Social Networking” in this study because it was the most commonly term used by our student population

6 6 History of Social Networking Sites 1995 = founded 1997 = Six Degrees of Separation founded 2002 = founded (dating  playful) 2003 = founded 2004 = founded 2004 = founded (

7 7 Social Networking & Education The Horizon Project’s Call for Scholarship identified social networking tools as possible educational tools for building learning communities (October 2007) Other research has focused on student use of social networking applications, and other technology, for social, out-of-school learning (Hsi, 2007) No mention of presentation or self- profiling.

8 8 SNS as “Walled Garden” Nishant Kaushik: SNS are popular only because there is no internet-wide identity management scheme. Bex Huff: SNS is a “walled garden.” Really? It doesn’t need identity theft to make SNS a potentially dangerous place; self- identification is dangerous enough.

9 9 Self-identification in a Virtual world Communications in a virtual world like Facebook or MySpace is de-contextualized. Friendster motivated people to grapple with explicit presentations of self, creatively build playful networks. Users are in a “loose” mode. Users have no control of multiple disconnected audience.

10 10 An example of out of control A 26-year old teacher in San Francisco created her profile when all of her SNS friends joined the service. After a group of her students joined the service, they questioned her about her drug habits and her friendship with a pedophile. Although her profile had no reference to drugs, many of her friends had both. Furthermore, one of her friends had crafted a profile that contained an image of him in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform with testimonials referencing his love of small girls. While his friends knew this to be a joke, the teacher’s students did not (boyd & Heer, 2006)

11 11 Head Hunters Users were not aware that headhunters were actively lurking on SNS in order to document candidates’ “extracurricular” life.” Nevy Valentine was horrified when she opened the San Francisco Chronicle to discover that her profile was featured, including her occupation of “corporate time bomb.”

12 Access to SNS by strangers Stutzman (2005)

13 13 IBM study Joan Morris DiMicco, David R. Millen The impact of SNS on graduates Three types of SNS users in IBM: –College days –Dressed to impress –Living in the business world

14 14 Example of college- day mentality Mr. X is an active Facebook user, beginning in 2005, checking every day, multiple times a day. He primarily uses the site for maintaining friendships with close, but geographically distant, friends. He has over 200 friends on the site, 35 of which are employees he met at new hire events. When he joined the company, he did not change anything about his profile or the pictures of himself. His current profile links to many photos of him drinking alcohol (including directly out of a beer keg) and attending numerous college parties. He feels that Facebook is “for fun” and relates only to “personal life” and hopes that if his manager ever did see this page would understand that it has “nothing to do with his professional life.”

15 15 Example of “dress to impressed” Before starting his job, Mr. Y purposefully “cleansed” all information about himself on the internet: from Facebook, his blog, and his personal website. In particular, he removed all photos of himself involving “drinking alcohol.” –Actually after things are posted on the Internet, they stay there forever! People have a way to reveal “deleted” information. –Like a political campaign, the candidate “checks” his/her own past over the Internet to see if any negative things might be used by his/her opponents. But usually it is too late (e.g. sex jokes in email).

16 16 Example of “Living in the Business World” Ms. A joined Facebook at the urging of her coworkers. Since joining, she has posted dozens of photos of herself and has received dozens of wall posts from her coworkers. Most of her Facebook friends are coworkers whom she started with at the same time. These are people she goes to lunch with and socializes with after work. She works closely with some, but others could be considered as part of her extended work network. –Conservative strategy: Stay away from strangers and people that you don’t know enough. But this type of conservative SNS users are mostly found in the business world. College kids love to reach out to strangers.

17 17 Project Methodology Partnered with the Office of Residential Life for this project Online survey –Open and closed ended items –Designed to gather data about student use of social networking applications –Estimated completion time - 10 to 12 minutes Data Collection Sept. 2008

18 18 Project Methodology - Continued Recruitment Sept. 2008 –Email to all 5346 undergraduate students –11 day data collection period –Initial invitation and two reminders to those who had not responded –Under 18 years were required to opt-out

19 19 Project Methodology - Continued We did not use “leading” questions such as: –Rate the importance of the following statement: It is important for me to present myself on SNS in a positive fashion to impress my professor and future employer. –Have you ever posted any photos of yourself on SNS that may affect your image (e.g. drinking)? Rather, we use open-ended questions to see whether the themes of “self-identification,” “image building” …etc. emerge.

20 Project Methodology - Continued Descriptive statistics: we avoid prematurely test pre-determined hypotheses; rather, we want to understand the phenomenon first. Text mining for extracting common themes from open-ended responses. –It is NOT counting the frequency of “words.” –Computational Linguistics: Use AI algorithms to analyze the context of text, to find common patterns. –E.g. “I use Facebook to organize study groups,” “To hold study sessions”  Study groups.

21 21 Response Rate 21% (N=1140 respondents) To examine the representativeness, we compared respondents to the population on 5 demographic variables: –Gender –Residency –Citizenship –Race –Age

22 22 Population/Respondents Female-AZ Res-US Citizen

23 23 Population/Respondents Race

24 24 Population/Respondents Age

25 25 Social Networking Site Use

26 26 Findings Students are less able to articulate value of Academic SNS use (serious) than of non- Academic SNS use (for fun). Self-identification/presentation or imaging building is not an expressed concern by students.

27 27 First Used a SNS Age first used any SNS –32.8% respondents were 14 years or younger –58.8% were 15-17 years –18.4% were 18 or older Which SNS did you use first? –84.2% MySpace –13.0% Facebook –Others < 3%

28 28 Preferred - Why 75.8% Facebook –New friends use Facebook –For college students –Design: simple, structured –“Safer” 23.9% MySpace –Old friends use MySpace –Most familiar –Design: ability to customize/create –Fun/music

29 29 Frequency of SNS Login

30 30 Measuring Social Networking Experiences # Friends # Hours per Week Spent on SNS

31 31 # Friends on All SNS by Preferred SNS  2 = 3.702E1; P<.001

32 32 # Friends on Preferred SNS by Preferred SNS  2 = 2.258E1; P<.001

33 33 # Hrs Per Week on All SNS by Preferred SNS  2 = 3.544; n.s.

34 34 Importance Preferred SNS - Non Campus Friends/Contacts

35 35 Importance Preferred SNS - Campus Friends/Contacts

36 36 Does Your Preferred SNS Improve or Enrich Your… Academic life at ASU? –37.4% Facebook Users say “Yes” –15.3% of MySpace Users say “Yes” Non-Academic life at ASU? –70.3% Facebook Users say “Yes” –44.2% of MySpace Users say “Yes”

37 37 Current Use of Preferred SNS to Improve/Enrich Academics Current Use (N=275)

38 38 Concept map yielded from text mining –Bigger circles: higher frequency; Bolder lines: Stronger connections. No one mentions “image”, “presentation,” “identification,” “profile,” “career”, “job,” “professional” …etc.

39 39 Possible Use of Preferred SNS to Improve/Enrich Academics Could Use (N=773)

40 40 Preferred SNS as an Obstacle to Enriching Academic Life Cheating/Perceived Cheating: This will stay on the record. “Plagiarism and cheating. You think you are helping someone but you are just setting them further back.” “The only potential issue I could see is if I was getting help from a classmate online, and they were giving me advice on how to solve an equation, or what to put in a paper. If another classmate saw that message, they could possibly use it and write something similar as me, and I could possibly get accused of cheating or something.”

41 41 Preferred SNS as an Obstacle to Enriching Academic Life “false information, biased opinions, non- credible sources” –These will stay in the record, too.

42 42 Use of Preferred SNS to Improve/ Enrich Non-Academic Life Current Use (N=523) and Could Use (N=684)

43 43 Concept maps yielded from text mining Again, no one mentions “image”, “presentation,” “identification,” “profile,” “career”, “job,” “professional” …etc.

44 44 Implications Academic use is limited; SNS is still a “playful” thing. Despite posting personal information on public websites, student responses seem to suggest an “illusion of privacy” and that SNS are used primarily for communication. Campus SNS program initiatives, whether academic or non-academic, should be mindful of SNS as a presentation or image building tool that may affect their future.

45 45 Our Future Research This is an initial project - exploratory…and we have more exploring to do Follow-up focus groups could be helpful Would like to examine specific user patterns within identified academic and non-academic campus SNS groups or networked contacts

46 46 Share Findings Contact us @ –Laura Brewer - –Chong Ho (Alex) Yu - –Sam DiGangi - –Angel Jannasch-Pennell -

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