Part One: Program and Topic
- My program of study is Pure and Applied Science.
- The investigative question that I will explore is “Why couldn’t I give up social media for a day?”.
Part Two: Interview
a. Susan Finch is a psychology teacher at Dawson College. She has been teaching at Dawson for 8 years.
b. I chose to interview Susan Finch because she teaches Abnormal Psychology and has been teaching at CEGEP level since 1999. Though social media is not her speciality, it was a very good interview. I was able to learn more about my topic and received answers that will be very helpful for my article. This interview allowed me to think about different aspects of my topic that I hadn’t considered before.
c. I conducted the interview in person. I recorded the interview on my phone. It was held in her office, therefore it was a comfortable environment. It was a very spacious office and held approximately seven desks. It had green walls and bright light illuminating the room from the windows. It was a very relaxed and calm setting. There was only one other teacher in the office, which offered an ideal and quiet place for the interview. At first, the interview did not feel like a conversation however, as it progressed, we became more at ease. I was able to ask all the questions that I had planned out and I also asked about a bit about other topics that I hadn’t considered such as social comparison and narcissism.
d. Susan Finch is very professional. She is a brunette with blue-green eyes and about 5’8. She is soft-spoken and well mannered. She had direct responses to my questions, which demonstrate that she is confident and educated. She was very encouraging and interested when I asked my questions which shows she is genuine. She was very honest about some personal experiences. She did not have any particular mannerisms. The way she held herself and spoke revealed that she is a conscientious person.
e. Q: What is the psychology behind addiction?
A: The main idea would be about your dopamine receptors and that when you get a burst of dopamine, it makes you feel good. I just read something about this with social media and narcissism, narcissistic personality disorder, but which is a different mechanism. Basically the addiction mechanism, there’s a lot about dopamine receptors and feeling good. I take something to make myself feel better. The same thing can happen when you receive a text, you get a dopamine spurt, which makes you feel good so you look at the text and you learn, you get reinforced that that made you feel better so you keep on looking. With the narcissism piece, its kinda cool because they’re saying you’re always comparing yourself to others and so how many friends do I have, how many people follow that, how many liked that picture, the more feedback you get that is positive, the better you feel about yourself and the more you do it.
Q: Is it easy to overcome this addiction?
A: For some people, and I think with age and time it changes. Because at a certain age, how you compare to others is so much more important than at a different age. So, for a fourteen year old is very concerned with how they compare so they may feel more addicted. A thirty-four year old may be less bothered by how they compared so it depends on the individual and the stage of life, I think.
Q: I read somewhere that people like to talk about themselves. Could you explain more about this narcissism?
A: We do like to flaunt ourselves, put ourselves forward and post the best picture and the best selfie. We like to share because we think we have something important to contribute. We like to feel that we do. I think that is an important part of it is we want other people to hear us, especially when things are good. We’re not sharing the bad test mark or the rejection that we got last weekend, we’re just sharing the positive stuff, which reinforces how we feel about ourselves.
f. This interview allowed me to gain knowledge concerning addiction. When people become addicted to something, they release dopamine. This burst makes you feel good and is the main reason for addiction. I also learned more about social comparison. Most people compare themselves to others when using social media, which lower their self-esteem. We like to share the positive aspects of our lives but in turn, makes others feel bad about themselves.
Part Three: Textual Research Notes
- Allgaier, Joachim, Sharon Dunwoody, Dominique Brossard, Yin-Yueh Lo, and Hans Peter Peters. “Journalism and Social Media as Means of Observing the Contexts of Science.” BioScience4 (2013): 284-87. Academic Search Premier [EBSCO]. Web. 26 Feb. 2016.
This article summarizes the data collected by a team of researchers from a survey based on how neuroscientists obtain their information. An interesting idea from this article is that social media can strongly influence public opinion on science. The idea that people use social media to seek information about and reactions to political or social developments is an idea that I had not yet considered. This can be a reason for my frequent use of social media.
- Castillo, Stephanie. “This Is Your Brain On Facebook.” Medical Daily. N.p., 31 Jan. 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. <http://www.medicaldaily.com/facebook-addiction-activates-same-brain-areas-drugs-how-social-media-sites-hook-you-320252>.
This article discusses Facebook addiction, how Facebook affects our brains and the increase in its usage. A particular fact that will be useful for my article is that 52% of online adults use two or more social media platforms. This fact demonstrates the significant presence that social media has in our lives. The idea that social media is also linked to the reward center of our brains is also important information that I can use. Also, very interestingly, it was found Facebook users respond faster to their phones than traffic signs.
- Duggan, Maeve. “Mobile Messaging and Social Media 2015.” Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. N.p., 19 Aug. 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. <http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/08/19/mobile-messaging-and-social-media-2015/>.
This article provides many statistics about social media usage obtained from research conducted by the Pew Research Center. A statistic that will be useful is that 59% of Instagram users and 27% of Pinterest users visit these social media sites/apps daily. This shows that social media has become part of many people’s daily lives. Also, 43% of Facebook users log on several times a day which is an important fact that I can use.
- Kessler, Edward. “Social Media and the Movement of Ideas.” European Judaism 46.1 (2013): 26-35. Academic Search Premier [EBSCO]. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
This scholarly text discusses the impact of social media and how quickly information can be transmitted while also discussing social media in the context of interfaith dialogue. An interesting point made in this article is that social media is a “many-to-many” connection. Social media also allows individuals to communicate their thoughts and ideas. The negative consequences of social media are also highlighted such as individuation, anonymity and disinhibition. An interesting statistic that I can use is that there are more than 800 million active users on Facebook.
- King, David Lee. “Why Use Social Media?” Library Technology Reports 51.1 (2015): 6-9. Academic Search Premier [EBSCO]. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
This article examines the pros of using social media as a means of communication for libraries. The idea that social media can help organize protests and in some cases, revolutions is discussed which demonstrates one of social media’s positive uses. Social media is also used by many people to connect with others who share their interests. These arguments help me understand the underlying question of why I couldn’t give up social media.
- Penenberg, Adam L. “Doctor Love.” Fast Company July-Aug. 2010: 78-113. MasterFILE Premier [EBSCO]. Web. 26 Feb. 2016.
A subject of Dr. Paul Zak’s experiments on oxytocin writes about the three experiments he underwent and the results obtained. A particular fact that can be useful is that when the participant released oxytocin while on social media, it also reduced his stress hormones. Interestingly, this research suggests that social networking may reduce cardiovascular risks. This presents an argument that I can use as to why social media is good.
- Perrin, Andrew. “Social Media Usage: 2005-2015.” Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. N.p., 08 Oct. 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. <http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/08/social-networking-usage-2005-2015/>.
This article summarizes the data found from social media usage between 2005 to 2015. It discusses different factors that affect social media such as gender, age, income and race. A statistic that will help put my article together is that 90% of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 use social media. It is a very high statistic that will add to my article.
- Shadbolt, Matthew. “On What Social Media Does To Your BrainInman.” Inman. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. <http://www.inman.com/next/on-what-social-media-does-to-your-brain/>.
This article focuses on how social media affects our social skills and the impact it has on the brain. Particularly, a study found that social networking releases oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone known as the “cuddle chemical” which acts as a social glue by keeping families and societies together by building trust. An argument found in the article that will also be of use is that since real-world experiences are slower than online ones, there has been an increase in attention-deficit disorder. Both ideas are useful because they can help show that social media has become addictive but also in some cases, detrimental.
- Wagner, Lori Ann. “When Your Smartphone Is Too Smart for Your Own Good: How Social Media Alters Human Relationships.” Journal of Individual Psychology 71.2 (2015): 114-21. Academic Search Premier [EBSCO]. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.
The article by Lori Ann Wagner discusses the idea of social media affecting human face-to-face relationships. A very significant idea from this article is that social media can burden face-to-face relationships. People tend to turn to social media instead of having a real conversation. This can be a factor that answers my investigative question. People often use social media to find a social connection and use it as a distraction.
- Stronge, Samantha, Danny Osborne, Tim West-Newman, Petar Milojev, Lara M. Greaves, Chris G. Sibley, and Marc S. Wilson. “The Facebook Feedback Hypothesis of Personality and Social Belonging.” New Zealand Journal of Psychology 44.2 (2015): 4-13. Academic Search Premier [EBSCO]. Web. 3 Mar. 2016.
This report is based on a study conducted to examine how Facebook impacts our social relationships and whether the “connection” it is supposed to offer is applicable to everyone. According to this article, a study shows that the more time people spent on Facebook, the more they believed that others were happier and generally had better lives than them. This is useful for my article because this is true for me. Also, introverts use Facebook to reduce loneliness and compensate for weak social relations, which can be a reason for my social media use as I am more of an introvert than extrovert. In addition, the article presents the idea that people on Facebook create their idea selves and the image of more positive life than reality on this platform.