Yalin Sun's Dissertation Proposal Defense


Title: The Experience and Development of Social Media Addiction: A Grounded Theory Study

Abstract: In the passing decade, we have witnessed the exponential growth of social media use globally. Along with the increasing popularity of social media are the stories of addictive use, especially among younger generations. Previous studies have found that addictive social media use is associated with negative consequences such as reduced productivity and attention span, task avoidance and procrastination, information overload, and emotional collapse. However, a holistic conceptual understanding of the phenomenon is still in need to support future research investigations and to better inform the design of educational and other intervention programs. Therefore, in this study, a grounded theory approach is adopted to explore people’s experience of social media addiction and the process of how social media addiction develops, with an objective of constructing a substantive theory for the studied phenomenon. Interview, background questions, diary and social media activity data will be collected from college students who are measured as social media addicts. In addition, personal stories of addictive social media use from online public forums will also be collected to facilitate theoretical sampling. Data analysis will follow the basic strategies and principles of the grounded theory method, and the final theoretical framework should exhibit certain density and abstraction and explain most of the cases being analyzed. The result of this study will support future research by offering a conceptual framework specific for social media addiction and can have practical implications as well for educators and policy makers to design effective social media addiction interventions.

Committee: Yan Zhang (Chair), Bo Xie, Randolph Bias, and Ricardo Ainslie (Education)


12:00pm to 2:00pm


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