Senior Seminar Topic Statement
Advisor: Charlie Peck
My interest in how social media today is influencing our lives influenced my topic. I will be working to design a unified data model for Facebook and Twitter data. I will be doing this in order to be able to query a pool of data that spans multiple social media platforms. This is useful to the scientific process because people interact with different social media sites differently. In designing a unified data model, I will be able to analyse trends across platforms.
Once my data model is established and I have moved my data into it, I am interested in exploring the different scenarios around disordered eating on social media. In a day and age when everyone has access to everyone else’s pictures at the touch of a button, I am curious about what this is doing to body image and body positivity among young women in the US, particularly women of color. Eating disorders in the US are steadily climbing, with thousands of young women losing their lives to disordered eating. Body positivity is also on the rise, with more and more people speaking out about loving their body as is and embracing the beauty in difference.
I am interested in exploring how to mine trends in the data across platforms. I do not have an ample psychological background to understand all the facets to this part of my project. I will be working with the Psychology department in order to better understand what to look for and how to query my data usefully once it is in a unified format.