The Internet is a growing space with infinite potential, yet we must question the truth and reliability of some things. Sherry Turckle, author of Together Alone quoted a subject of hers as saying “When things happen in real-time that’s it you have to show emotion and have quick responses, there is not more time left to think”
My personal interest project (Henceforth referred to as PIP) is an investigation into the desire to create an online pseudo and the impact it is having on people’s social skills across a range of social situations. My first idea was to study the affect of vaccinations in society but that changed when my interest in social identity grew.
The initial idea began when during conversation the topic of ‘fake’ people on the Internet was brought up and the conversation wound its way into the desire to change your identity and how that can effect the first time you meet someone face-to-face and they realise you are not the sock puppet you resonated to be via the internet. After thought on that idea, I became interested in what drove an increasing amount of people to alter themselves on the Internet and the comparison between reactions in people in a situation online and the same situation in ‘real-time’. The way peoples minds work, and the reasoning behind decision making has always intrigued me and I now have a chance to explore it in depth.
This research idea resonates with the topic Change and Continuity within the Society and Culture syllabus. It explores the changing uses of technology on social and cultural practices and traditions.
The primary methodologies I am using include; Interviews with professors studying similar concepts consisting mainly of open-ended questions, Focus groups to collect primary information on the comparison of effects in regard to different social situations, Questionaries to enable me to collect a range of answers for general questions and personal reflection which allows me to include my own experiences from my micro world and aid in the answering of the hypothesis, It will also allow me to see the way I have reacted in the same social situations or would potentially react.
I will be constructing a questionnaire to get a general idea on the topic; I will also be constructing a group of 30, all of specific age groups, and having them record their experiences in 10 different day-to-day social situations and recording how they reacted to the situations via social media and in real-time.
I aim to discover a deeper insight into the desire to change who you are over the Internet and the impact the Internet is having on peoples ability to function in day-to-day social situations. I have experienced the changing of peoples behaviours in situations were the Internet is not readily available and wish to explore the reasoning behind why people feel the need to create an online pseudo yet are slowly losing their real-time social identity and skills.