The research so far: my project and experiences!

A deeper dive into my research project, now that I have started, and my experiences working on it so far. It has been such a privilege to work on my own self-defined project exploring the role of social media in the lives of older people and how it can mitigate loneliness.
The research so far: my project and experiences!

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Now that we are a couple of weeks into the official research project (although the project's true conception began back in December!), I am only getting more excited to talk about it - even if it's still in the early stages.

The official title of my project is: what is the role of social media communication in older people's lives and to what extent can it help mitigate loneliness? To explain, I am conducting a qualitative and inter-disciplinary survey into how older people themselves think and feel about social media and its impact on their feelings of social connection. This is a study that combines theory from media & communications as well as sociology. Currently, the survey itself is in development and as I work on the survey I am continuing further research into existing literature on the topic. I hope to have the survey available for participants by late July which will then leave time for data collection and analysis in August. 

Since this a self-defined project I am currently working with my university and supervisor (Dr Bethany Robertson, a sociology professor) on ensuring that the survey is ethical and well-made before it can be accessed. This is of course an extremely important step and something that has taken a fair portion of time. My supervisor's guidance has helped and taught me a lot about the ethical guidelines that go behind research. I already know that the experience from developing this project will be so useful to me later in my academic studies. 

Of course, the past month has not only been about the research. Our Laidlaw cohort attended two residentials! I talked more about our second residential here on LinkedIn. Myself and two of my Laidlaw peers also attended the Oxford Character Project, which I discussed on my Laidlaw Network profile. Outside of Laidlaw events and research, I have been continuing to work on myself and my skills this summer as this has been such an amazing opportunity to develop myself as an individual (such as taking some Spanish lessons and visiting some amazing exhibitions in Leeds!)

Overall the research has been going smoothly so far and is currently right on track, I am so excited to keep going and get stuck into the analysis and more serious development of the project in the next couple of weeks. 

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Go to the profile of Stella Grover
10 months ago

I'm looking forward to hearing more about this Sebastian, an incredibly interesting topic.