I study interpersonal communication within the context of communication technology. Most often, I research how private topics become public when using social media, and the resulting effect on relationships. Check out a few projects below that I am currently working on.
Friendship in a digital age (Or: do we REALLY need 1000+ Facebook friends?)
My dissertation focused on un-friending and un-following through social media. Interestingly, I found that more often than not people choose to maintain relationships online even in the face of oversharing or disagreement! As a result, one of my latest research projects digs more into the unique value of weak ties and lapsed relationships through social media. This past year I completed qualitative interviews. I was lucky to have two different undergraduate students help me with data collection and transcription in this project, one of whom completed an independent study to learn more about the research process and another who received a grant from the college of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State to participate in research with faculty. I shared some initial findings in a college colloquium series at UNLV in a broader discussion about well-being and digital de-cluttering (check out some of those findings here), and currently have this manuscript under review.
Political interpersonal conflict in-person and online
With this work, I look at how political conversations within our relationships can lead to disagreement and conflict. While this work has been explored to varying degrees in the past, it has primarily started from the lens of political communication rather than interpersonal, and has not always included the effects of communication technology. This research was funded by a $10,000 Faculty Enhancement Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State. Currently I am preparing manuscripts for submission for journals for two parts of this data, and a third part is in the analysis phase, where I have one undergraduate student and two graduate students coding for me. I can't wait to see what we find!
Work-life balance and communication technology use
Alongside Dr. Sarah Riforgiate and graduate student Emily Roth (Ruder), I was happy to contribute to a project of theirs interested in how technology may relate to work-life balance, a primary area of study for Dr. Riforgiate. We asked in our research: how might the use of Facebook increase the potential for spillover from work to home and vice versa? We will be presenting the results of this work at 2018 CSCA conference in Milwaukee.