Meaning and Purpose in Everyday Life : Topic Excerpts

This section is a compilation of quotes and excerpts pulled from a series of interviews about Facebook in everyday student life conducted as part of Jeff Ginger's work with the Facebook Project. They are organized by both topic and question all all contain links back to their original transcription, so readers can see it in context. With hope this database will grow in time, either with additional contributions from Jeff (only 10 of the 26 interviews have been logged) or the interviews of others.

Feel free to use this as a teaching resource. It is roughly one step past the close-reading stage of fieldnotes; items have been loosely organized into open-coded sections. It is enough information to start putting together character traits to form a typology of users, as well as actions and behaviors that could be used to create a typology of use.

They could be organized in alternative ways and differ net themes probably lurk about. For instance, readers could use the material here to compile an insider understanding of what constitutes a Facebook friend.

The Most Interesting Questions

Do you feel out of touch when you haven't logged onto Facebook for a while? Would you be sorry if Facebook shut down?

By Topic

By Question, Full List

  1. How long have information technologies, like computers or cell phones, played a significant role in your life?
  2. Did you grow up in an area that was more rural, suburban, or urban?
  3. When did you first join Facebook? 
  4. How does Facebook compare to other Social Networking Services [MySpace]?
  5. How does Facebook enter into your everyday life?
  6. Do you feel out of touch when you haven't logged onto Facebook for a while? Would you be sorry if Facebook shut down?
  7. How do you see / experience community on Facebook?
  8. How much time do you spend on Facebook?
  9. Do you use / how do you personally use:
  10. Do you typically log on to Facebook looking for specific people or information or do you usually log on and wander or follow what strikes your fancy? (Do you actively [search] or passively [notice] inform yourself?)
  11. Do things you see on Facebook impact the way you interact with or think about other people? How so?
  12. Does Facebook come up in everyday conversation?
  13. Does Facebook ever do something you wouldn't expect?
  14. How do you use Facebook as a communication medium? How do you personally use (messaging/wall/status/chat)?
  15. Who do you think your invisible audience (term is explained) consists of?
  16. What is the difference between browsing, stalking, and creeping?
  17. If you were to pick one aspect of your profile that you would like other people to see first when they visit, what would it be? How come?
  18. How do you think power works on Facebook?
  19. How does popularity work on Facebook?