Monday, March 25, 2013

URSP Highlights: Anushay Ibraz

Spring 2013 URSP Participant Anushay Ibraz:

What got you interested in this project?

My study explores my interests in finding differences in how college undergraduate students interact and communicate in a face-to-face context and online using Facebook. In my opinion, Facebook serves as a major platform for social media and plays a significant role as a form of communication among the current demographic of college students, ranging from ages 18 to about 23 years of age. As a fellow student, who is heavily exposed to both online and face-to-face communication, I am aware that everyone manifests their communication abilities differently and have certain preferences on how and when to express themselves. My observations of friends, roommates and fellow classmates have led me to believe that students engage in a more free exchange of information when employing their preferred channel of communication rather than an alternative method. My interest, therefore, lies in examining and comparing the level of restraint and spontaneity students express over Facebook and during a face-to-face encounter.

How do you see it being related to your long-term goals?

I hope that the final product of my project will be used as a stepping-stone for further research on communication through social media. I believe the project will help me expand my level of critical thinking and enrich my research and writing skills, which are essential to the public relations field. Analyzing Facebook and face-to-face interactions will help me better understand how individuals respond to information that is disseminated between two communication platforms. An aspiring public relations practitioner needs to understand their audience to capably communicate with their publics and I think this project can help me grasp the bigger picture on how to achieve effective communication. 

What do you actually do on a weekly basis?

I make it a habit to meet with my advisor at least once a week during his office hours. In the beginning, we went over my results from the pilot study I conducted last semester and thought of ways to improve my data collection method. I am researching more articles and scholarly journals to add to my literature review and provide more insight into my research question. I am also reformatting my survey questionnaire to better measure results of face-to-face and Facebook communication behaviors.

What is one thing you discovered this week?

I handed my survey out to a few students in class and the feedback I have received will make it easier to score my results. By using Likert scales, I can quantify my results, which will help me better measure and analyze incoming data using SPSS analytics software. With my survey finalized, I am ready to put it online and send it out for data collection.