Measuring Loneliness Through Social Media Withdrawal Experiment


After my meeting with Julie yesterday, one of the biggest proposal revisions was to create quantifiable measures to my project. But before I go into improvements, let me recap what it is that I plan on doing!

I am currently enrolled in a class on the social consequences of mobile communication, which sparked my interest on how peoples’ current obsession with social media may or may not contribute to feelings of loneliness. At first, I was going to create diary-like blog posts that described my own experience with giving up three different social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. However, after our meeting I realized that I need to have more quantifiable measures that I can look back on, analyze, and compare to pre-existing literature on the subject.

I am going to extend my “withdrawal” period from social media for 21 days (3 weeks), based on studies that show it takes that amount of time to break a habit (or in my case, an obsession with checking these platforms multiple times a day). Each day during the experiment, I will be tracking the amount of conversations I have (what a “conversation” entails will be defined beforehand). I will also be tracking my daily levels of connectivity (based on 6 factors that comprise what connectivity is).

After the three week period, I plan on graphing the data I have collected and examining the ways in which my experience matches or doesn’t match up with theoretical explanations of mobile communication and loneliness.

Wish me luck!

Check out this article on a self-proclaimed social media addict who gave up social media for 7 days.

2 thoughts to “Measuring Loneliness Through Social Media Withdrawal Experiment”

  1. Wow, this seems extremely interesting but a tough task indeed! I give you a lot of credit if you’re able to go all 21 days without cracking. I think it will be very interesting to see the data in visuals like graphs, I think that will help you move away from a solely text-based project, as we were discussing we disliked yesterday with the examples in class. Good luck, excited to see how this project comes along!

  2. I agree with you that it will be hard to be away from social media for three weeks, but I think it will be worth it in the end! I am excited to see what you come up with after your experiment. It is a great idea to put yourself as a test subject, and you’re going to have a very interesting and detailed research report because you did that! Is anyone giving up social media with you?

    Great start – good luck!

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