Category Archives: Social Media

David Wray, #UBC MA Defence: Message Me when You Land: Tourism and Hospitality Students’ Distance Relationships with Friends, Family, and Devices

The Final Oral Examination For the Degree of
Master of Arts
(Media & Technology Studies)
David R. Wray
Exam Date & Time: Thursday April 23, 2020
Exam Location: Zoom
Message Me when You Land: Tourism and Hospitality Students’ Distance Relationships with Friends, Family, and Devices
EXAMINING COMMITTEE 
Supervisory Committee:
Prof Stephen Petrina, Research Supervisor (Media & Technology Studies)
Prof E. Wayne Ross (Curriculum Studies and Social Studies)
External Examiner:
Prof Jillianne Code (Media & Technology Studies)
ABSTRACT
This qualitative study addressed the problem of maintaining relationships via creative and routine uses of Multimedia Devices (MMDs). Twelve participants were recruited from a private college in Vancouver, which specializes in tourism and hospitality education for international students. Interviews focused on their uses of MMDs in creating and maintaining relationships with family and friends. The study addressed three research questions: 1) In what ways do international students utilize MMDs to maintain relationships with family, friends, and the devices themselves? 1a) How do the students maintain relationships at home, school, and online, while fostering newer, more immediate relationships? 1b) How do the students maintain relationships with media and technology (M&T) devices and apps? For analysis and interpretation, the theoretical framework draws on Hinde’s (1976a, 1976b) research into relationality and on Goffman’s (1974) caution of the collusion of technology in changing relationships. Findings are organized around four themes: Shifting Time and Space Constraints, Necessity vs. Habit, Online Identity, and Influence and Marketing. Within each theme, one, two, or all three questions are explored. The participants post memes, photos, and videos to their social media but do not always keep up their relationships with family and friends directly, though they said most of their significant relationships had not faltered. Participants were hard pressed to say that their personal technology use was a bad thing, though they consistently expressed how it would get in the way of experiencing real life in the moment. The participants have their technologies on them and interact with them on a regular basis, but their views on MMDs extend from necessity to habit. This research has implications for the process of intercultural relationship building among students, as it takes the pervasiveness of M&T into account. Given current conditions of life, play, study, and work, implications are placed in context of Covid-19. How this sample of international students interacts and depicts themselves online suggests the strengthening of some relationships while keeping others at a comfortable distance, but still near, nonetheless. Educators of all levels should be aware of how students create, maintain, and destroy relationships via MMDs

Kesiena Chris-Iwuru #UBC MA Defence: Youth Perspectives on #Cyberbullying and Social Media Platforms #bced

Kesiena Chris-Iwuru, BSc, MSc

Masters of Arts in Media & Technology Studies Thesis Defense

YOUTH PERSPECTIVES ON CYBERBULLYING AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS: TEEN AGENCY, INTERACTIVITY, AND SOCIAL COGNITION

Friday January 19, 2018, 10:00 am, Scarfe 2108

ABSTRACT: This research examines how social media platforms have reconfigured traditional notions of social interaction and specifically how a sample of youth view these platforms in light of problems with cyberbullying. The research design included two primary questions: 1) How do social media platforms reconfigure social interaction and means by which youth perceive and understand these platforms? 2) What role does social cognition play in youth perspectives of online identities and interactions in relation to cyberbullying? The participants included nine Grades 10-12 students (4 males and 5 females), aged between 16-21 years. The research site was an independent high school located in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Actor-network theory and optimal distinctive theory (Brewer, 1991; Latour, 2005) formed the theoretical perspective for analyzing, discussing and the presentation of the research study findings. Data were collected through ethnographic techniques, including observations, artefacts (documents, etc.), and interviews.

The findings from this study indicate that the ubiquitous mode of interaction within these spaces deviates from traditional norms, with resulting consequence that impact users’ ability to perceive telepresence. The manner in which social media spaces are understood is largely influenced and informed by the predominant collective, where the self is seen as undefined and enacted in context-specific processes. The findings also indicate that interactions, perception, and mode of responses to conflict situations are based on previous experiences and currently held notions of what constitutes appropriate online behaviour. The implications and significance of the research findings have relevance for educators on how best to engage and understand teenagers in these spaces, with new and effective measures to examine instances of conflict and antisocial behaviour online. For social media companies and startups, it provides an insight into the nuanced mode and context of interaction prevalent within these platforms and the resulting impact on how individuals, the collective, and the platform itself all exert influence on each other.

  • SUPERVISOR:  Dr. Stephen Petrina
  • COMMITTEE MEMBER:  Dr. Franc Feng
  • THESIS EXAMINER:  Dr. Samson Nashon