Here are my two interviews. Each took 20 minutes.
C: Hi! How are you today?
J: I’m doing great!
C: Awesome! I have quite a bit of questions for you today. So, let’s begin
J: Sounds good
C: Do you enjoy social media
J: It’s something nice to pass the time every now and then
C: How long have you been using social media
J: For about, oh God, like ten years?
C: How many social media platforms do you use?
J: I’d say like three? Four?
C: Which ones?
J: Facebook, the obvious one. Snapchat, Instagram, and I guess maybe YouTube?
C: What is your primarily platform?
C: How often to you use Facebook on a daily basis?
J: Wow. That’s a hard one. I don’t want to sound obsessive by saying once every hour, but I guess it would be once every hour.
C: I get that because it’s easy to just turn your phone on and mindlessly swipe through your feed just to see what’s going on.
J: Yeah, exactly
C: What about the other ones that you mentioned? Do you still use those on a daily basis, or not so much?
J: Not so much. But still daily. Maybe just during my break to pass time.
C: How often do you post on social media?
J: I don’t tend to post much. When I do post, people tend to notice it.
C: Okay. What are the kinds of things your normally post?
J: I usually just make a post when something great happens in my day
C: Okay. I’m going to switch gears a little bit and focus on cell phones. What kind of phone do you have?
J: I used to have a Galaxy S6, but I recently converted over to the iPhone 7 plus.
C: Do you like it better?
J: Well I mean it’s simpler and even though the Galaxy has a lot more features, I didn’t really feel like I was using them all. The Galaxy was nice I’m not going to lie, but I like the iPhone a lot too. It’s a lot faster in my opinion.
C: Okay. That’s good to know because I have a Galaxy and was thinking of switching over just to see what the iPhone is all about. Do you prefer to text or talk over the phone?
J: Definitely text. Especially when its my boss.
C: How often do you talk on the phone on an average day/
J: Maybe like ten minutes with my mom
C: How often do you text?
J: Like 95% of the day
C: On average, do you text a wide range of people or just a few?
J: I generally stick to my best friend, my girlfriend, my mom and sister. That’s about it. Maybe a co-worker or two every now and then.
C: Is your phone constantly on you?
J: Sadly, yes.
C: How often, be real for a second, how often are you on your phone? Not even necessarily for social media, just in general?
J: I feel like as I grow older, I’m not on my phone as often as I used to be. When I was in my late teens up to even a year or two ago I was on my phone all the time. Like I needed to charge it twice a day. But I feel like now, I can go a full day with an almost full battery and not have any problems. Even though I text a lot throughout my day, I’m not really on it for any other purpose that often. I just really use it to communicate with my close group of friends.
C: Okay, awesome. I know you kind of just answered my next question, but would you consider yourself dependent on your phone? If you didn’t have your phone for a day would you get anxious or feel like you need your phone?
J: I feel like now not really, if you asked me this maybe a year ago, I would say yeah, I would probably go crazy cause I would need to call someone or text someone or find out what someone was doing to hang out or make plans but now I just drive to their house and hang out.
C: Do you prefer to talk to someone through social media or through texting, or in person?
J: I feel if it’s friends, I don’t really care how I speak to them, like if they’re my close friends or family. If its someone I used to be close with or just a random person I’d rather just talk to them through social media, maybe text them.
C: Okay, okay. Why do you feel that way?
J: it’s just cause having a confrontation with someone in person, sometimes you just don’t really want to. Social media, even though it offers the ability to extend your horizons, talk to people and such, it also offers the ability to be able to not talk to someone. If you’re face to face with someone you can’t just put your hand to their face and say “we’re done talking now.” You can’t do that in real life, with social media you can.
C: Okay, that’s a great answer! So, when you’re with your friends in person, how often do you pull your phone out and start scrolling through it, even if it’s just for a couple of seconds at a time?
J: When it’s later in the day, I feel like I do that a lot more. Earlier in the day I don’t really do that. I mean, when I’m with my friends, there’s always at least one of us that does it and it’s kind of like a domino effect and we all will then pull our phones out and look at something dumb on the internet.
C: Do you feel that’s because there isn’t really any communication going on and it’s kind of like a lull moment and you’re just like, let me pass the time really quick cause I don’t really know what to say, or do you feel like it’s happening while conversation is happening and you’re just multitasking?
J: Honestly, I feel like most people can’t really multitask like that. I feel like it’s like a yawn, where if one person yawns then everyone else starts yawning, phones have pretty much become a yawn.
C: That was a great analogy. So basically, agree or disagree, usually you pull your phones out and scroll through when there’s no conversation going on. So, you use it in a way to kind of barricade yourself from your surroundings because there’s no conversation going on and you’re like I don’t know what to do now so I’m just going to scroll through my phone.
J: Yes, I agree but I still have that feeling where it’s more like an instinct now. Where we just bust our phones out just because. I feel like even people who were born in previous generations, who didn’t really have phones growing up, do the same thing. It’s like evolution where we just evolved to being used to using our phones all the time.
C: That’s actually a great point. So, when you pull your phone out when with your friends, what exactly are you doing? Are you scrolling through Facebook or do you just have your phone out to have it out without really doing anything on it?
J: Usually when I pull my phone out, I’ll scroll through Facebook. If a notification pops up on YouTube, I’ll check it out really quick to see if I’ll be interested in watching it later, but for the most part it’s just scrolling through Facebook.
C: Awesome! You’ve given me a lot of great answers so far. I’m going to switch gears a little bit and talk about a new topic. Do you get nervous when conversing with new people?
J: Not anymore because I feel like I kind of worked my way around that. When I was going to school, I really did learn how to talk to people and be social. I feel like social media also helped with that because you can meet people on Reddit or Facebook or even YouTube and just have a conversation with a random person you never would have met otherwise. Because of those conversations with random people on social media it makes me feel more comfortable to talk to people in the real world. I feel like I don’t sound dumb for whatever I’m saying because I know I said it to some stranger on the internet and they didn’t respond badly to it. I’m just a human being, I shouldn’t be afraid to talk to new people or go out there and express how I feel to other people.
C: That was really a great answer. I love that social media helped you become more social. I’m pretty sure this next question is going to be a no for you, but do tend to get uncomfortable when you interact with people in person?
J: No. Unless it’s like a job interview.
C: Do you feel like you run out of things to say easily when you’re with people in person?
J: No because for me the easiest way to talk to someone I don’t know or someone you just met is to always ask them questions about themselves. I feel like asking questions about the other person really helps open up the door. It’s just easier for me because I don’t have to worry about running out of things to say because everyone has their own story, so just asking questions goes a long way.
C: Is that pretty much the same approach you take when you converse with people you already know?
C: How often do you go out with your friends?
J: With my close group of friends quite a bit.
C: Do you have a lot of friends that you talk to regularly through your phone, but not in person?
J: Not really.
C: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
J: I’d say more of an extrovert.
C: I feel like I already know the answer to this since we kind of touched base on this already, but is it easier for you to make friends in person or through your phone? I feel like you use the same approach for both.
J: Yeah, it’s about the same.
C: Okay awesome. I have one last question for you. Do you personally feel that technology and social media have played a negative influence on face to face communication? Maybe not so for yourself personally because you’re pretty outgoing but as a whole.
J: Not really. I feel like having social media has expanded everyone’s horizons, even introverted people. When you have an introverted person, who doesn’t like going out or being out there, they can still talk to people while being away from people. It’s also helpful in other instances. Like say your friend moves away, which actually my best friend will be moving in the summer, social media and texting is going to help me communication and maintain a friendship with him. I feel that social media has helped both introverted and extroverted people.
C: So, you feel for introverted people that instead of shying away from communicating face to face with someone, instead of using a phone as a shield, the phone is actually helping them not use their phone as a shield?
J: I feel the phone helps people use their words and gives them confidence to communication with people. Eventually it will help them boost their confidence and get out there more.
C: That’s a great way of looking at it. Thank you very much. You’ve given me some really great answers and I appreciate your time.
J: You’re welcome.
C: Hi! How are you today?
L: I’m good! How are you?
C: I’m great, thanks! I’m going to jump right into it. Do you enjoy social media?
L: Yes and no
C: Why is that?
L: Because when I’m bored I spend most of my time on it, but sometimes when I’m on Instagram for example I see all these expectations of women and how we’re supposed to look and stuff.
C: That’s an interesting point I’ve never really thought about too much especially since I don’t use Instagram as often as I used to, but you’re absolutely right. How long have you been using social media?
L: Since I was thirteen I think.
C: And you’re sixteen now right?
C: How many social media platforms do you use?
L: I have a few but I really only use two.
C: Which ones are they?
L: Instagram and Snapchat.
C: Which one do you use the most out of the two?
C: How often do you use Snapchat?
L: Every day.
C: How often do you use Instagram?
L: Every day. Especially when I’m in class, I usually just scroll through my feed when I’m finished with my work.
C: Do you prefer to text or talk on the phone?
C: How often do you text?
L: Every day, except for when I’m in school. I have nothing else to do so..
C: That’s true. How long do you talk on the phone, if you talk on the phone?
L: I just have quick conversations. Only my mom calls me so I don’t really talk on the phone too much.
C: Would you consider yourself dependent on your phone?
L: Yes. I can’t go an hour without it or else I feel like I’m dying.
C: Can you go into more detail about how you feel like you’re dying without your phone?
L: It just feels like there is something missing. If I don’t have it I’m always searching for it. It just feels like there’s a part of me missing. I get so sad, and start to get anxiety.
C: I totally understand that. There are times where I feel the same way and it makes me so sad that I’m so dependent on technology like that.
L: It feels like it’s my baby. Even though I’m only sixteen, my phone is basically like my child.
C: Yeah, I can understand that. Do you prefer to talk to people through social media/texting or in person?
L: In person.
C: Yeah? Why?
L: Because in person you can see the person’s emotions. For example, when you say something funny they’re actually laughing and it makes you feel good. Through text even though they say “lmao” you don’t really know if they’re laughing. Sometimes texting can get really dry, but in real life the conversation can go on and on. With me anyway because I’m a talkative person.
C: So basically face to face conversation is more genuine.
L: Yes exactly it’s more genuine.
C: When you’re with your friends in person, how often do you look at your phone?
L: Not at all.
C: Not even outside of school or when you’re allowed to take your phone out during school?
L: We’re allowed to have our phones at in school.
C: Really? I could not do that when I was in school. I’m a little jealous. You’re just allowed to be on your phone during class?
L: Well as long as you’re done with what you’re doing. Some teachers don’t let us, but most do.
C: That’s so crazy to me. So basically when you’re with your friends, you don’t look at your phone?
L: I don’t.
C: What about when the conversation Is kind of boring?
L: I still don’t. I try to find something else to talk about.
C: Alright, that’s cool. I’m going to switch topics a little bit. Do you get nervous when conversing with new people?
L: Yes! I hate it! I’m super shy. Everyone knows that about me. Meeting someone new is always hard for me, but once I start talking to them I feel more comfortable. Every new school year I’m always stuck in a class with people I don’t know so the first few weeks I’m all by myself and I keep to myself. There gets to a point where I try to figure out who the nice people are, so in my head I realize that they seem cool so I’m like let me talk to them and see if we can be friends. But, I’m always so shy approaching them.
C: Yeah, I completely understand. I’m the same way, I hate meeting new people at first because I’m so shy. So, my next question is basically what we just talked about, but do you get uncomfortable when interacting with people in person. This could be with your friends or strangers.
L: Yes! Today that was me! So, in lunch I sit between these two girls and I’m really close to them but for some reason I felt so awkward between them. I don’t know for some reason I just felt like I was there but I wasn’t there at the same time. I just felt so not.. I felt weird and awkward.
C: It happens, sometimes you just get in those moods.
L: It was weird I was just like I don’t want to talk to you. Like I do but I don’t.
C: Was it just with them? Or did you feel that way towards everyone?
L: I’m just in that mood today in general with everybody.
C: What about when you’re in a normal mood. Do you ever just feel like you don’t really want to be where you are and you’d much rather be at home or not having to talk to someone?
L: Yeah, sometimes if I don’t have anything to say to a certain person and the conversation is dry I keep thinking about what I would do to be home right now, in bed, watching TV with my phone. Because my phone is my friend, I will never get bored with it.
C: Phones can be really helpful in those kinds of situations.
L: Especially when your teacher doesn’t know how to teach, so you have to teach yourself with Google.
C: I’ve definitely been there before so I totally get that. What class?
C: That’s terrible. That’s really one of those classes where you need a good teacher.
L: I know, it’s horrible.
C: So, do you feel like you run out of things to say easy when you’re with people in person? And I know we kind of went over that a little, but do you have anything else to say about that subject?
L: No, because it’s easy for me to just bring up a new topic. If I’m on Snapchat and I see something funny, I’ll just bring it up in conversation and show who I’m talking to. If the conversation is dead, I can just pull up a funny video or meme and it will bring our conversation back to life.
C: So, phones help you communicate with people?
L: Yes. They do.
C: Do you feel the same way when talk to people through a device? Do you feel it’s easier to run out of things to say when you’re talking on your phone? Is it easier to cope with if you do?
L: It’s easier because once you run out things to say you just stop talking. You can tell them you’re going to bed, when you’re really not.
C: How often do you go out with your friends?
L: Never. I’m not allowed to. Basically, I go from one place to the next. School and then home.
C: Not for much longer though. Do you have a lot of friends that you regularly talk to through your phone but not in person?
L: Hmmm. no? Yeah, no.
C: I don’t know about you but I definitely have relationships with people where for me it’s easier to talk to them through texting or through social media then it is in person some times. And I guess because sometimes I don’t always get to see them in person, but still regardless sometimes it’s just easier for me to talk to them through my device.
L: Yeah, I feel that way too but when I text I’m only texting like three or four people, my boyfriend, my two best friends and my brother and that’s it. And I talk to them every day.
C: So, the people who you communicate with through your phone, are just the few people who you are the absolute closest to. Everyone else you just talk to in person?
C: Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
L: Both. I’m in between. I’m like an extro-introvert.
C: I like it, you’re like an outgoing introvert.
L: Yeah basically.
C: Do you make friends easily?
L: Yes. Once I break out of my shell.
C: Is it easier for you to make friends in person or through a device? I guess for you it would be easier in person.
L: Yes, in person.
C: Last question. Do you personally feel like technology and social media have played a negative influence on face to face communication?
L: Because every time people decide to post something negative about someone on Instagram, and I’m very nice and I see all that going down, so if I’m close to them, I’ll tell the person who is being bullied about it. Then I get in between it somehow, some way, and when those two people are having an argument I’m always there for them for emotional support. I’m just like what’s happening? You guys are shading each other on social media. Just talk it out and be friends. Life is short.
C: That’s a really interesting way to look at it. Social media can cause conflict between two people.
L: It can. A lot of my friends spend a lot of their time on Instagram and Twitter and everything and a lot of things go down on Twitter.
C: I actually have been hearing more and more about people your age or even younger just getting bullied frequently on Instagram. Which is crazy to me because even though I’ve seen situations on my own feed where someone is calling another person out, it never got to the point it gets to for people your age.
L: It happens a lot. Especially with girls. I see so much hate for fat shaming or like you’re not pretty enough. It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside. It matters what’s on the inside and their personality. I don’t understand why there is so much hate. Like why?
C: I don’t understand either. Cause I mean there was definitely a lot of bullying going on when I was your age, but at the same time we didn’t really bully through social media to the extent that people your age are doing, at least not from what I witnessed.
L: I think it’s definitely gotten worse.
C: It makes sense though. It’s just easier for people to be a bully through social media because they can just hide behind a screen.
L: And nothing will happen to them. It’s just getting worse.
C: I hate ending this on such a terrible note, but that’s all I have for you today. Thank you for your time.
L: You’re welcome!