Facebook Data

For me Facebook is for sharing pictures with family and for staying active in local politics. I don’t usually use it for academic networking but I found it useful in my thesis research. For my thesis I wanted to reach out to undergraduate college students, I used convenience and snowball sampling by reaching out to my network. Along with reaching out to my network I began building new social media networks. I joined 25 different CU Denver focused Facebook groups and posted similar reach-out messages on each of them,

For my Facebook recruitment, I took a more informal approach to reaching out than in the flyer I shared with people in my network. Facebook is a friend-focused space so I wanted to send a message in that vein, a no pressure, friendly message.

I posted my “invite” in each group I joined and would reach out to people who liked or commented on it. Having Facebook as a space to reach out to people to participate is useful for research, especially when the reach is on a topic like mine, sexual assault and consent. Posting my reach-out/invitation on Facebook let people comment or like the post both on their own time and without the pressure of having a stranger asking them to talk about sexual assault. People were also able to message me without it being public, which one again is a great thing about using Facebook for interviewee recruitment.

The only negative aspect of using Facebook for recruitment was that I needed to gain access into different Facebook groups, some of which were private or by invitation only.

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