Pre-Thesis Week 12: Primary Research

This week, I analyzed the results of my primary research. I mainly used two research methods: interview with stakeholders and survey with social media users age 18–25.

Here are some takeaways from the interviews.

Young Users of social media:

  1. Wechat include many functions that they need for the daily life, so it is difficult to stop using it. And it could cause distraction sometimes. When they want to check some new messages from work, new post in the Comment or other shared posts or news from friends would catch their eyes, and sometimes they just forgot the original purpose to open the social media platfrom.
  2. They would wait for likes and comments after posting in the comments function. This might because they need these to realize their social identity.
  3. Forwarded news or articles from their parents mostly caused misinformation and anxiety.

Parents:

  1. Seldom worry about young people’s overuse of social media.
  2. It’s happy to have this convenient way to contact their children who study or work away from home.
  3. They always forwarded some articles about staying healthy and becoming a successful person to their children.

Company (Project Manager of Wechat)

  1. We engage to make Wechat concise and simple, and we do not calculate users’ usage time.
  2. We want the functions to include users’ needs in the daily life. They could easily pay, read news and use tiny applications inside Wechat without installing more APPs in their phone. This could help their life be more efficient.

Government:

  1. Teenager mode could restrict teenagers’ social media usage time every week, and they could not use these APPs after 9 p.m. so that we could ensure their sleep quality and mental health.
  2. Teenagers only protect young people age under 18. People aged over 18 have the freedom to use these social media websites, but they need to be responsible for their own physical and mental health.
Interview Takeaways
Survey Result

In the survey, there are only 6 questions.

Half of the participants thought that Weibo caused most negative feelings, and about 32% thought that they have felt depressed using Wechat. Different from individual interview’s result, 69% chose that they have suffer from social comparison. This result meet my expectations and the results I found from the secondary research. This might because that I provide with explanations of social comparison under this choice to avoid the stereotype that comparing with others is a bad quality. And since the survey was anonymous, the answers and results could be real. Other than the four categeries of negative feelings from social media that I found from readings, I also put “Anxiety” into the choices, because it is a common feeling that could be easily understandable for survey participants. Not surprisingly, half of the people felt anxiety, and they thought that some features of social media softwares should blame.

To find some inspiration and specific scenarios of the game, I also asked the participants to provide an emoji to describe their feelings using social media. Before seeing the results, I thought that the expressions would be sad or angry. But surprisingly, most survey participants used the emoji of speechless or surprise, with the explanation that they just do not know what to say or talk to those people on the Internet while going through depression or cyberbully.

Another interesting finding is that, most people reflect that they frequently used social media in the late night. Though they know this was a bad habit that could have many negative effects, they just thought the night was quiet and free to browse their social media to spend these leisure time after a day’s work. In the survey, They could choose one picture from the four to describe their state of using social media, and 90 percents chose the last one. Besides, in the last question that they could provide any picture or emoji to me to describe their feelings, there are 3 also provide similar pictures of staying up late with their phones.

4 choices for question 4

To decide the game’s art style, I also put four abstract drawings to investigate survey participants’ preference. One of them is from the game, The White Door, with simple black and white style. It turns out that most people thought that this picture accord with their social media daily use.

Which one best describes how you feel on the social media?

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