We are looking for people who use social media to talk to us about what it means to make one’s “self,” or who one identifies as, visible on social media. 

 

Study Objectives:

The objective of this interview study is to better understand how social media users think about visibility and what it means to make one’s “self,” or identity, visible on social media. 

 

The study involves an interview, conducted over video or audio call service of your choosing, about your experiences making your “self,” or who you identify as, visible on social media as well as what it means to be “visible” on social media. The interview will take approximately 60-90 minutes to complete. 

 

Eligibility Requirements for Participation: 

The minimum eligibility criteria for participation in this interview study include the following: 

  • Regularly use social media for personal use

  • Have access to a phone or Internet for an interview

  • Live in the United States

  • Are at least 18 years of age

 

If you are interested in participating, we ask that you complete a short survey (<10 minutes). If you are eligible to participate in the interview study, we will contact you to set up an interview. 

Compensation:

We will offer a $20 USD Amazon.com gift card for participating in the interview study.​

For further information:

If you are interested in participating but have questions about the study, or are unsure of your eligibility, you are welcome to contact Dr. Kristen Barta, at krbarta [at] umich.edu

 

If you are interested in participating in the study, please visit this page to complete the screening survey: https://umich.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7VAqylN5ppqlwbP 

The University of Michigan Health Sciences and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board has determined that this research is exempt from IRB oversight.

More Details on the Interview Study

 

Project Title

Visibility and “Self” Identity on Social Media

Project Team

Principal Investigator: Kristen Barta, PhD, School of Information, University of Michigan

Faculty mentor/Co-Principal Investigator: Nazanin Andalibi, PhD, School of Information, University of Michigan

Invitation to be Part of a Research Study

You are invited to participate in an interview study. In order to participate, you must: a) Regularly use social media for personal use; b) Live in the United States; and c) Be over the age of 18. Taking part in this research project is voluntary.

Important Information about the Research Study

Things you should know:

 

 The purpose of the study is to understand how social media users think about “visibility” and what it means to make one’s “self,” or identity, visible on social media. 

 

 If you choose to participate, you will be asked to complete an individual interview that will be audio-recorded and transcribed (but not video recorded). The interview will occur over video or voice call service of your choosing.

 

The interview will take approximately 60-90 minutes.

 

Risks or discomforts associated with this research include potential discomfort discussing content you create or consume on social media. There are no obvious physical, legal, financial, or economic risks associated with participating in this study.

 

There are no direct tangible benefits to participating in this study. However, your participation will help us build a foundational understanding of visibility of intersectional identity on social media. 

 

Taking part in this research project is voluntary. You do not have to participate and you may stop at any time with no penalty.

Please take time to read this entire form and ask questions before deciding whether to take part in this research project.

What is the study about and why are we doing it?

Social media have been lauded and criticized for their ability to make content visible to audiences of unprecedented size and reach. That said, visibility is not equally achievable by or beneficial to all social media users. Social media platforms reproduce social biases and inequalities that make visibility of content and personal identity riskier for some users than others. We recognize that these risks have real consequences that extend beyond online spaces. We also recognize that identity is a complex concept in which no single facet (e.g., race, gender, social class) is experienced the same way by those who share it. This project will help us to understand how social media users understand and manage the visibility of their “selves,” or who they identify as, and expressions of self. We intend this work to further inform social media design for fostering social support and community. 

What will happen if you take part in this study?

If you agree to take part in this study, you will be asked to complete an individual interview that will be audio-recorded and transcribed (but not video recorded). The interview will occur over video or voice call service of your choosing.

How could you benefit from this study?

There are no direct tangible benefits to participating in this study. However, your participation will help us build a foundational understanding of visibility of intersectional identity on social media. 

What risks might result from being in this study?

There are no obvious physical, legal, financial, or economic risks associated with participating in this study. The psychological effects on you will be no greater than the effect of having a conversation about your experiences presenting your “self,” or who you identify as, on your personal social media. If you feel uncomfortable at any time during the session, you may decline to answer any questions and pause or end the interview at any time with no penalty.

How will we protect your information?

We plan to publish the results of this study. To protect your privacy, we will not include any information that could identify you in any way in reports or publications resulting from this study. To minimize risk of breach of confidentiality, all participants and their data will be given pseudonyms or participant numbers for recording and reporting purposes. Moreover, only the research team and transcribers who are bound to a confidentiality agreement will have access to the conversations. The recording of the interview and subsequent transcription will be kept on a secure U of M server. Data collected in this study will be retained for potential comparative research studies. A summary of the study’s results will be made available to you upon request.

 

What will happen to the information we collect about you after the study is over?

We will only need your email address, and if you choose to share your name, to schedule the interview and to send you the honorarium. We will not collect any other personally identifying information.

How will we compensate you for being part of the study?

Upon your completion of this study, you will receive a $20 Amazon gift card as a token of appreciation for your time and sharing your experience with us. This will be emailed directly to you at the email you provide us with while setting up the interview.

What are the costs to you to be part of the study?

There is no cost to you to participate in this research study.  

Your Participation in this Study is Voluntary

Participating in this study is entirely your decision. Participating in this study is voluntary. Even if you decide to be part of the study now, you may change your mind and pause or end the interview at any time. You do not need to answer any questions that you do not wish to answer. 

Contact Information for the Study Team and Questions about the Research

If you have questions about this research, you may contact:

 

Kristen Barta, PhD

Research Fellow

School of Information, University of Michigan

Email: krbarta [at] umich.edu

 

The University of Michigan Health Sciences and Behavioral Sciences Institutional Review Board has determined that this research is exempt from IRB oversight.