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.
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. This research was recently funded by a Faculty Enhancement Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State. This funding allowed me the opportunity to collect high quality data which I will get to share my initial findings on at the IARR mini conference in Syracuse this summer. I am also lucky to have Dr. Greg Paul and Dr. Soo-Hye Han from the Communication Studies department at Kansas State as co-authors and mentors for this project.
Defining Friendship in a Digital Age
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, my latest research digs more into the unique value of weak ties and lapsed relationships through social media. I recently completed qualitative interviews and I am in the process of coding the transcripts. I am looking forward to sharing more about this work soon.
Work-Life Balance and Communication Technology
Alongside Dr. Sarah Riforgiate and graduate student Emily Roth (Ruder), I became interested in how social media may influence work-life balance. Because of this we asked in our research: how might the use of Facebook increase the potential for spillover from work to home and vice versa? We just finished a final wave of data collection, and hope to present about our results at a communication conference during the 2017-18 academic year.
The Blurred Boundary of Personal and Political Identity through Instagram
Working with Dr. Soumia Bardhan and the soon-to-be Dr. Heather Woods, this project qualitatively explores the Instagram accounts of women in the Arab Spring. By considering the hashtags "#egyptiangirl" and "#tunisiangirl" as they relate to images and other text displaying identity, this paper discusses the blurred line(s) of political and personal through Instagram accounts of women who live in Egypt and Tunisia and maintain a public account. Furthermore, we draw on questions of power, social structure, and gender as they relate to identity in considering identity development and impression management online.