I collected my data from Facebook, specifically from a thread on my niece’s page. I had a difficult time finding an amount of data that I felt would work for my purposes. I ended up using a thread from July 30, 2013. The thread started as a meme posted on my niece’s wall with three other individuals. The thread then elicited 25 comments, which I felt would be enough to study for this particular assignment. Although, I do hope that I will be able to find a larger data set for our next analysis. The comments are from the individuals tagged in the post, but was also liked by other individuals as well.
The data set includes comments from five people, one male and four female. I originally was hesitant to use this because it does include a male participant. However, I was unable to find any other data set that would work. I won’t be focusing much on the male participant, but it does provide some context that is important to the conversation. My research focus relates to how teenage girls use language on Facebook and how it helps to create their online identity. This particular thread helps me with that because it includes multiple aspects of digital literacy that I can use. For instance, I’ve noticed the following—typographical differences between comments, the use of internet speak or lingo, the use of emoticons, different uses of vernacular, and some numerical data.
As an outsider, there are some issues that I could not possibly understand. The original meme is a comic strip-like picture, and I wonder if that particular picture is an inside joke, or is it just something that the original poster thought was funny? Interestingly, while our group was talking about this data set and reading it aloud, someone not affiliated with the group was listening and immediately recognized the language as that of a teenage girl. I’ve been wondering if this is something else that I can look at as well. I think it would be interesting to see if others can recognize the same thing in the data set.
I’m particularly interested in the readings by the New London Group and their work the pedagogy of multiliteracies. Even though their article is somewhat out of date in terms of technology, I do think it is still relevant. I also think Brian Street’s article on New Literacy Studies will be interesting in terms of literacy events and practice. I think the use of Facebook is definitely a literacy practice. Street’s article also discusses how children’s experience with NLS are important. I’m intrigued by the ideas of how the intersection of home and school in terms of Facebook plays out within my research. Since all of the participants go to the same school and their entire thread discussing the upcoming school year, I think this is an important distinction. I think the most important reading for my research will be the second article from Knobel and Lankshear. This particular article focused expressly on Facebook, and although the data from the article is somewhat out of date, I do think it will be important.