Every single interaction I had while working on this project influenced the subsequent interaction. This was due to the elusiveness of a universal definition of social media. Everyone has their own opinion of it and my participants were no different. This is why, after every interview, I slightly tweaked the questionnaire. The first time this happened was when I showed my interview draft to some classmates. They were not hesitant in quickly pointing out that my questions weren’t going to offer a representative view of social media that fit their description. What ensued was a healthy debate on which websites and messaging services counted as social media outlets. I influenced them and they influenced me and the survey became richer through this process. I’m pretty sure that I would need to interview at least 200 people before finalizing my survey draft.
Class discussions were also pivotal in setting the tone of my paper. I wasn’t really sure how to proceed after having picked my topic, mainly because I was unfamiliar with the concept of an I-search. But reading my classmates’ drafts changed all that. The personal factor is what differentiates an I-search paper. My classmates were either writing about something that meant a lot to them or they were researching something they thought was truly meaningful. Here is where my shortcomings manifested. I could not achieve the same level of personalization as my classmates, but that’s just a personality quirk of mine that shows up in several areas outside of class.
I wouldn’t consider myself a learner in this class in the traditional sense of the term. I am not just passively learning. I am also observing and participating. There is a certain level of agency that comes with being a learner in this class that I haven’t experienced in other college classes, where I am mostly a passive receptacle of knowledge. I guess I did achieve a level of personification in my work in this class, and that is apparent in my constant revising of my survey, that continued all the way until the last interview, and that I would still be continuing were there no time limit on the project.