The Influence of Digital Media on Sociability and Unsociability

a research project

Welcome! This is the project website of myself—David Toews—and my team—Bojan Baca, Krista Banasiak, David Lavin, Aliya Amarshi, and Jason Webb. We are studying how people are sociable and unsociable on Facebook and Twitter.

We are always looking for new participants, yourself for example! Whether you are new to online social networking or a seasoned veteran, tell us your stories. How have you used these sites? What is their meaning for you? How do they affect the way you interact with others?

We are collecting the Facebook wall postings and Twitter tweet data from as many people as possible. The data is treated with extreme care with all precautions for security, confidentiality, and privacy. We are professional sociologists at York University in Toronto, and this is an academic, non-commercial study, purely meant to increase our knowledge of the influence of digital media on social life. There is a lot of hype surrounding social networking. We hope to be able to paint a more accurate picture of the social life of people as they relate to each other in these new ways.

It is easy to participate! You can help us simply by allowing us access to your data. We are interested in your wall postings on Facebook and/or your history of tweets from your profile page on Twitter:

How to allow us access to your data:

Facebook users: Click on ‘get started’. Give us permission on the online informed consent form. Then, on Facebook, go to your ‘account settings’ page and click on ‘download a copy of your Facebook data’. You will receive your data in an email from Facebook (it takes a day or two to get the email from them). Find the ‘wall.html’ file in the folder they give you that is labeled ‘html’. Then return to our site and upload your ‘wall.html’ file using our secure upload page. Its easy!

Twitter users: Click on ‘get started’. Give us your permission on the online informed consent form and we’ll take care of the rest.

Thank you very much for your interest in the study. We will respond to everyone who answers our request for help with the project.

Want more details? You can read more here.