The Interview

We performed six interviews involving eleven individuals that were all on campus participating in student orientation at Michigan State during July of 2017. We made the following observations:

After gathering the preliminary data, we entered into a phase of interviews with the following script:

Hello, my name is ________ and I am a student in the MAET program here at Michigan State. We are working on a project involving the use of social media, and we were wondering if you would be willing to be recorded and answer a few questions for us. (If they say no, we completely understand. Welcome to Michigan State, we are glad to have you as part of the family. Go Green!) (If yes, thank you so much. Do you mind if we video the interview? Answer determines if the subject is seen on screen or not).

The Questions:

    • Have you ever Google-d yourself? If yes, what comes up?
    • How many social media accounts do you have? Which ones?
    • What are preventative measures you take to secure your digital privacy? (Are your accounts private or public? Why?)
    • Have you ever experienced a negative outcome from using social media? If so, can you share it with us? Ex. didn’t get a job, parents finding out something negative, significant others
    • Have you read the terms and conditions to the social media platforms that you use? Why or why not?
    • What types of information do you think is actually tracked and stored?
    • How do you think the private companies use your online information?
    • VIDEO TO SHARE ( See below)
    • What are your thoughts? Has your awareness about digital privacy change? If so, how?

This video highlights some of the dangers of freely posting to social media and what companies are doing with that information.

Ask Yourself:

  • Am I Ok with this existing forever?
  • Am I ok with this being read by anyone?
  • Am I ok with this being used to profile who I am?