Nicole	
  Ellison	
  
Telecommunication,	
  Information	
  Studies	
  &	
  Media	
  
Michigan	
  State	
  University	
  
• Because	
  user	
  perceptions	
  can	
  be	
  important.	
  
• Because	
  offline	
  activity	
  is	
  often	
  not	
  ev...
  How	
  do	
  communication	
  technologies	
  
reshape	
  how	
  we	
  form,	
  maintain,	
  and	
  access	
  
our	
  s...
  RQ:	
  Does	
  Facebook	
  use	
  play	
  a	
  role	
  in	
  
enabling	
  individuals	
  to	
  accrue	
  and	
  maintai...
  “connections	
  among	
  
individuals	
  -­‐	
  social	
  networks	
  
and	
  the	
  norms	
  of	
  reciprocity	
  
and...
 reflects	
  strong	
  ties	
  with	
  family	
  and	
  close	
  
friends,	
  who	
  might	
  be	
  in	
  a	
  position	
  ...
 is	
  linked	
  to	
  “weak	
  ties”	
  (Granovetter,	
  1982),	
  
loose	
  connections	
  who	
  may	
  provide	
  usef...
•  Surveys	
  
–  August,	
  2005:	
  series	
  of	
  items	
  in	
  survey	
  given	
  to	
  entire	
  incoming	
  first-­...
  What	
  are	
  the	
  communication	
  practices	
  that	
  
Facebook	
  users	
  are	
  engaging	
  in?	
  
  “Meetin...
  Total	
  stranger:	
  “Imagine	
  a	
  [university]	
  student	
  
you've	
  never	
  met	
  in	
  real	
  life	
  or	
...
  I	
  use	
  Facebook	
  to	
  meet	
  new	
  people.	
  
  Total	
  stranger:	
  Browse	
  their	
  profile	
  on	
  
F...
  Close	
  friend:	
  Browse	
  their	
  profile	
  on	
  
Facebook	
  
  Close	
  friend:	
  Contact	
  them	
  using	
 ...
  I	
  have	
  used	
  Facebook	
  to	
  check	
  out	
  someone	
  I	
  
met	
  socially.	
  	
  
  I	
  use	
  Faceboo...
  “Approximately	
  how	
  many	
  TOTAL	
  Facebook	
  
friends	
  do	
  you	
  have	
  at	
  [university]	
  or	
  
els...
  I	
  feel	
  I	
  am	
  part	
  of	
  the	
  [X]	
  University	
  community	
  
  Interacting	
  with	
  people	
  at	...
  There	
  are	
  several	
  people	
  at	
  	
  [X]	
  I	
  trust	
  to	
  solve	
  
my	
  problems.	
  
  If	
  I	
  n...
  Year	
  in	
  school,	
  daily	
  Internet	
  hours,	
  self	
  
esteem,	
  minutes	
  on	
  Facebook	
  
  Total	
  F...
  Year	
  in	
  school*,	
  daily	
  Internet	
  hours,	
  self	
  
esteem***,	
  minutes	
  on	
  Facebook	
  
  Total	...
  Year	
  in	
  school,	
  daily	
  Internet	
  hours,	
  self	
  
esteem,	
  minutes	
  on	
  Facebook	
  
  Total	
  F...
  Year	
  in	
  school,	
  daily	
  Internet	
  hours,	
  self	
  
esteem***,	
  minutes	
  on	
  Facebook	
  
  Total	
...
  Different	
  SNS	
  communication	
  practices	
  
(‘connection	
  strategies’)	
  exist	
  and	
  have	
  
different	
  ...
  Participants	
  are	
  using	
  the	
  site	
  to	
  learn	
  more	
  
about	
  the	
  people	
  around	
  them.	
  	
 ...
  Friends	
  vs	
  Actual	
  Friends	
  
  Friends	
  who	
  are	
  not	
  considered	
  actual	
  friends	
  are	
  
le...
  User	
  perceptions	
  are	
  important.	
  
  Actual	
  vs	
  all	
  Friends:	
  All	
  Friends	
  are	
  not	
  equa...
  Unlike	
  other	
  forms	
  of	
  CMC,	
  anticipated	
  future	
  
face-­‐to-­‐face	
  interaction	
  is	
  expected	
...
  Interviewed	
  34	
  online	
  daters	
  about	
  online	
  
self-­‐presentation	
  &	
  impression	
  formation	
  
 ...
•  	
  Investigated	
  the	
  extent	
  to	
  which	
  online	
  
dating	
  profiles	
  accurately	
  represented	
  offline	...
  Appear	
  attractive	
  
  Reduced	
  cues;	
  editable;	
  asynchronous	
  (Walther,	
  ‘96)	
  
  Appear	
  attractive	
  
  Reduced	
  cues;	
  editable;	
  asynchronous	
  (Walther,	
  ‘96)	
  
  Appear	
  honest	...
  Appear	
  attractive	
  
 Lie	
  Frequently	
  
  Appear	
  honest	
  
 Lie	
  Subtly	
  
Profile-­‐based	
  
Self-­‐Presentation	
  
Observed	
  
Self-­‐Presentation	
  
In	
  lab	
  measure:	
  
Cross-­‐Validati...
Overall! Males! Females!
Lied about height! 48.10! 55.30! 41.50!
Lied about weight! 59.70! 60.50! 59.00!
Lied about age! 1...
shorter in reality
than profile info
shorter in reality
than profile info
taller in reality than
profile info
taller in re...
Female Male
Lighter in reality
than profile info
lighter in reality
than profile info
heavier in reality than
profile info...
younger in reality
than profile info
younger in reality
than profile info
older than
profile info
older in reality than
pr...
  Appear	
  attractive	
  
 Lie	
  Frequently	
  
 	
  81%	
  of	
  participants	
  lied	
  at	
  least	
  once	
  
 	...
  User-­‐generated	
  data	
  has	
  biases	
  
  Some	
  are	
  predictable;	
  others	
  are	
  not.	
  
  Multiple	
...
  How	
  do	
  online	
  dating	
  participants	
  determine	
  
what	
  kinds	
  of	
  misrepresentations	
  are	
  
acc...
  “For	
  the	
  most	
  part	
  people	
  give	
  a	
  fairly	
  accurate	
  
description	
  of	
  themselves.	
  They	
...
• Because	
  user	
  perceptions	
  can	
  be	
  important.	
  
• Because	
  offline	
  activity	
  is	
  often	
  not	
  ev...
• email:	
  nellison@msu.edu	
  
• papers:	
  	
  https://www.msu.edu/~nellison/pubs.html	
  
• thanks	
  to	
  collaborat...
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"
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Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"

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Nicole Ellison talk at ICWSM - Researching interaction in social media: Examining online and offline communication processes in online dating & social network sites

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Nicole Ellison ICWSM 2010 "Researching Interaction in Social Media"

  1. 1. Nicole  Ellison   Telecommunication,  Information  Studies  &  Media   Michigan  State  University  
  2. 2. • Because  user  perceptions  can  be  important.   • Because  offline  activity  is  often  not  evident  in  online  data.   • Because  user-­‐generated  data  has  biases.  
  3. 3.   How  do  communication  technologies   reshape  how  we  form,  maintain,  and  access   our  social  relationships?     Two  primary  research  contexts:  social  network   sites  and  online  dating    
  4. 4.   RQ:  Does  Facebook  use  play  a  role  in   enabling  individuals  to  accrue  and  maintain   social  capital?       Yes  (Ellison  et  al.,  2007;  Burke  et  al.,  2010;  others)     RQ:  What  online  and  offline  communication   patterns  are  associated  with  Facebook  use  –   and  what  are  their  social  capital  implications?   Does  the  quality  and  quantity  of  “Friends”   matter?    
  5. 5.   “connections  among   individuals  -­‐  social  networks   and  the  norms  of  reciprocity   and  trustworthiness  that   arise  from  them”  (Putnam,   2000)     Putnam  distinguishes   between  bridging    and   bonding  social  capital  
  6. 6.  reflects  strong  ties  with  family  and  close   friends,  who  might  be  in  a  position  to  provide   emotional  support  or  access  to  scarce   resources  
  7. 7.  is  linked  to  “weak  ties”  (Granovetter,  1982),   loose  connections  who  may  provide  useful,   novel  information  or  new  perspectives  for   one  another  (but  typically  not  emotional   support)    “…  technologies  that  expand  one’s  social  network   will  primarily  result  in  an  increase  in  available   information  and  opportunities  —  the  benefits  of  a   large,  heterogeneous  network”  (Donath  &  boyd,   2004).    
  8. 8. •  Surveys   –  August,  2005:  series  of  items  in  survey  given  to  entire  incoming  first-­‐ year  class  at  MSU  (N=1440)   –  April,  2006:  random  sample  of  MSU  undergraduates  (N=286)   –  April,  2007:  participants  from  2005  survey  (N=94)  plus  new  random   sample  (N=482)     –  April,  2008:  new  random  sample  (N=450)  and  panel  data   –  April,  2009:  new  random  sample  (N=373)  and  panel  data   –  April,  2010:  new  random  sample  and  panel  data   •  Interviews  and  cognitive  walk-­‐throughs   –  Spring,  2007:  Focus  on  FB  “Friendship”  (N=18)   –  Spring,  2010:  Focus  on  adult  FB  users  and  info-­‐seeking  (N=18)   •  Automated  capture  of  web  content   –  Spring,  2006:  Periodic  downloads  of  the  MSU  Facebook  site  
  9. 9.   What  are  the  communication  practices  that   Facebook  users  are  engaging  in?     “Meeting  new  people”  vs  maintaining  old  ties     Are  some  Facebook-­‐enabled  communication   strategies  more  productive  than  others?       Are  some  friends  more  helpful  than  others?    
  10. 10.   Total  stranger:  “Imagine  a  [university]  student   you've  never  met  in  real  life  or  had  a  face-­‐to-­‐ face  conversation  with.”     Someone  from  your  residence  hall  (latent  tie):   “Imagine  someone  at  [university]  who  lives  in   your  residence  hall  who  you  would  recognize   but  have  never  spoken  to.”     Close  Friend:  “Think  about  one  of  your  close   friends.”  
  11. 11.   I  use  Facebook  to  meet  new  people.     Total  stranger:  Browse  their  profile  on   Facebook     Total  stranger:  Contact  them  using  Facebook,   or  by  using  information  from  Facebook     Total  stranger:  Add  them  as  a  Facebook   friend     Total  stranger:  Meet  them  face-­‐to-­‐face  
  12. 12.   Close  friend:  Browse  their  profile  on   Facebook     Close  friend:  Contact  them  using  Facebook,   or  by  using  information  from  Facebook     Close  friend:  Add  them  as  a  Facebook  friend     Close  friend:  Meet  them  face-­‐to-­‐face  
  13. 13.   I  have  used  Facebook  to  check  out  someone  I   met  socially.       I  use  Facebook  to  learn  more  about  other  people   in  my  classes.       I  use  Facebook  to  learn  more  about  other  people   living  near  me.       Imagine  someone  at  X  University  who  lives  in   your  residence  hall  who  you  would  recognize  but   have  never  spoken  to.  How  likely  are  you  to   browse  their  profile  on  Facebook?  
  14. 14.   “Approximately  how  many  TOTAL  Facebook   friends  do  you  have  at  [university]  or   elsewhere?”     Median:  300     “Approximately  how  many  of  your  TOTAL   friends  do  you  consider  actual  friends?”     Median:  75  (25%)  
  15. 15.   I  feel  I  am  part  of  the  [X]  University  community     Interacting  with  people  at  [X]  makes  me  want   to  try  new  things     Interacting  with  people  at  [X]  makes  me  feel   like  a  part  of  a  larger  community     I  am  willing  to  spend  time  to  support  general   [X]  activities     At  [X],  I  come  into  contact  with  new  people  all   the  time     Interacting  with  people  at  [X]  reminds  me  that   everyone  in  the  world  is  connected  
  16. 16.   There  are  several  people  at    [X]  I  trust  to  solve   my  problems.     If  I  needed  an  emergency  loan  of  $100,  I  know   someone  at    [X]  I  can  turn  to.     There  is  someone  at    [X]  I  can  turn  to  for  advice   about  making  very  important  decisions.     The  people  I  interact  with  at    [X]  would  be  good   job  references  for  me.     I  do  not  know  people  at    [X]  well  enough  to  get   them  to  do  anything  important.  (Reversed)  
  17. 17.   Year  in  school,  daily  Internet  hours,  self   esteem,  minutes  on  Facebook     Total  Friends  on  Facebook     Actual  friends  on  Facebook     Actual  friends  on  Facebook  (squared  term)     Social  Information-­‐seeking     Adj.  R2  Without  Information-­‐Seeking:  .14     Adj  R2  With  Information-­‐Seeking:  .18  
  18. 18.   Year  in  school*,  daily  Internet  hours,  self   esteem***,  minutes  on  Facebook     Total  Friends  on  Facebook     Actual  friends  on  Facebook***     Actual  friends  on  Facebook  (squared  term)*     Social  Information-­‐seeking***     *:  p<.05     ***:p<.0001  
  19. 19.   Year  in  school,  daily  Internet  hours,  self   esteem,  minutes  on  Facebook     Total  Friends  on  Facebook     Actual  friends  on  Facebook     Actual  friends  on  Facebook  (squared  term)     Social  Information-­‐seeking     Adj.  R2  Without  Information-­‐Seeking:  .09     Adj  R2  With  Information-­‐Seeking:  .11  
  20. 20.   Year  in  school,  daily  Internet  hours,  self   esteem***,  minutes  on  Facebook     Total  Friends  on  Facebook     Actual  friends  on  Facebook***     Actual  friends  on  Facebook  (squared  term)*     Social  Information-­‐seeking***     *:  p<.05     ***:p<.0001  
  21. 21.   Different  SNS  communication  practices   (‘connection  strategies’)  exist  and  have   different  implications  for  social  capital  levels     Of  the  three  (Maintaining,  Initiating,  &  Social   Information-­‐Seeking),  only  Social  Information-­‐ seeking  significantly  predicts  social  capital  levels.     Users  distinguish  between  Facebook  Friends   and  “actual”  friends  on  the  site;  only  “actual”   friends  impact  perceptions  of  social  capital   (curvilinear  relationship)  
  22. 22.   Participants  are  using  the  site  to  learn  more   about  the  people  around  them.       This  information  can  be  used  to  find  common   ground,  lower  barriers  to  interaction,  guide   conversations  to  socially  relevant  topics     Extends  notions  of  latent  ties  (Haythornthwaite,   2005):  Facebook  provides  not  only  the  technical   ability  to  connect,  but  also  the  personal  social   context  that  can  make  these  interactions   socially  relevant  (vs  digital  “crank  calling”)      
  23. 23.   Friends  vs  Actual  Friends     Friends  who  are  not  considered  actual  friends  are   less  likely  to  provide  social  capital  benefits       Actual  Friends  are  productive  –  but  only  to  a  point     SNSs  as  a  proxy  for  proximity?     Identity  information/self-­‐expression  (profile)     Bring  together  those  with  shared  interests     More  communication  opportunities  
  24. 24.   User  perceptions  are  important.     Actual  vs  all  Friends:  All  Friends  are  not  equal.     Perceptions  of  social  capital     Offline  activity  is  often  not  evident  in  online   data.     Social  information-­‐seeking  (an  important   predictor  of  social  capital):  using  the  site  to  find   out  more  about  those  with  whom  users  have  a   minimal  offline  connection  with.  Online  profile   information  can  facilitate  offline  interactions.    
  25. 25.   Unlike  other  forms  of  CMC,  anticipated  future   face-­‐to-­‐face  interaction  is  expected  and   highly  salient.       How  do  online  daters  negotiate  their  desire   to  engage  in  selective  self-­‐presentation  with   their  need  to  present  an  authentic  self?     To  what  extent  do  online  data  represent   offline  characteristics?     Ground  truth  regarding  deception  in  this  context.  
  26. 26.   Interviewed  34  online  daters  about  online   self-­‐presentation  &  impression  formation     Small  cues  matter  (e.g.,  spelling,  timing  of  email)     Need  to  balance  desirability  and  accuracy   ▪  One  strategy:  Portraying  one’s  ‘Ideal  Self’     ▪  “I  think  they  may  not  have  tried  to  lie;  they  just  have   perceived  themselves  differently  because  they  write   about  the  person  they  want  to  be...In  their  profile  they   write  about  their  dreams  as  if  they  are  reality.”     Establishing  credibility  (Show,  don’t  tell)  
  27. 27. •   Investigated  the  extent  to  which  online   dating  profiles  accurately  represented  offline   characteristics  (establishing  “ground  truth”)   •  Methods  notes:   •  Data  collection  took  place  in  NYC   •  80  (heterosexual)  participants,  40  male/40  female   •  Paid  $30  incentive  to  participate  in  a  study  on   “Self-­‐Presentation  in  Online  Dating”  
  28. 28.   Appear  attractive     Reduced  cues;  editable;  asynchronous  (Walther,  ‘96)  
  29. 29.   Appear  attractive     Reduced  cues;  editable;  asynchronous  (Walther,  ‘96)     Appear  honest     Anticipated  future  interaction;  recordability  of  profile   http://www.flickr.com/photos/willie_901/2197990074/
  30. 30.   Appear  attractive    Lie  Frequently     Appear  honest    Lie  Subtly  
  31. 31. Profile-­‐based   Self-­‐Presentation   Observed   Self-­‐Presentation   In  lab  measure:   Cross-­‐Validation   Height   Age   Weight   Income   Photograph  
  32. 32. Overall! Males! Females! Lied about height! 48.10! 55.30! 41.50! Lied about weight! 59.70! 60.50! 59.00! Lied about age! 18.70! 24.30! 13.20! Lied in any category! 81.30! 87.20! 75.60! % Participants Providing Deceptive Information
  33. 33. shorter in reality than profile info shorter in reality than profile info taller in reality than profile info taller in reality than profile info Height
  34. 34. Female Male Lighter in reality than profile info lighter in reality than profile info heavier in reality than profile info Heavier in reality than profile info Weight
  35. 35. younger in reality than profile info younger in reality than profile info older than profile info older in reality than profile info Female Male Age
  36. 36.   Appear  attractive    Lie  Frequently      81%  of  participants  lied  at  least  once      weight  most  frequently,  age  least     Appear  honest    Lie  Subtly    Small  magnitude  for  most  lies      1  –  5%  deviations  from  actual  self    But  there  were  a  few  whoppers!    3  inches;  35  pounds;  9  years    
  37. 37.   User-­‐generated  data  has  biases     Some  are  predictable;  others  are  not.     Multiple  methods  may  be  needed  to  understand  a   particular  online  context     ▪  Technical  constraints  &  affordances,  participants’  goals,   site  norms,  etc.     Understanding  a  particular  social  context  is   critical  for  knowing  how  to  interpret  data   produced  by  its  participants.    
  38. 38.   How  do  online  dating  participants  determine   what  kinds  of  misrepresentations  are   acceptable  and  which  are  unacceptable  (lies)?  
  39. 39.   “For  the  most  part  people  give  a  fairly  accurate   description  of  themselves.  They  might  have  a  little   leeway  here  and  there  like  I  do.  …  I  kind  of  expect   that,  you  know,  they’ll  say  “I’m  35”  and  in  fact   they’re  39.  I  mean  if  they  don’t  look  the  difference,   what’s  the  big  deal  to  me?  It’s  not  skin  off  my  nose.   If  they’re  19  and  they  say  they’re  29  then  I’ve  got  a   problem  with  that....  If  you  misrepresent  to  the   point  where  it’s  going  to  be  a  problem  in  the   relationship,  that’s  not  acceptable.  If  you’re  just   fudging  to  get  over  the  hump,  so  to  speak,  OK,  it’s   ‘no  harm  no  foul.’    
  40. 40. • Because  user  perceptions  can  be  important.   • Because  offline  activity  is  often  not  evident  in  online  data.   • Because  user-­‐generated  data  has  biases.  
  41. 41. • email:  nellison@msu.edu   • papers:    https://www.msu.edu/~nellison/pubs.html   • thanks  to  collaborators  and  co-­‐authors  (in  order  of   appearance):  jennifer  gibbs,  rebecca  heino,  chip   steinfield,  cliff  lampe,  jeff  hancock,  catalina  toma,   danah  boyd,  &  jessica  vitak.  

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