The Science Network: Bloopers

The Science Network: Bloopers

Yesterday I posted up mine, Katya and Polly’s science parody of the social network. Today, I give you the treat of our bloopers reel.

Here are the blogs of some of fellow science communication students who featured in the film:

David Roberston – Christy – Aka the crazy boyfriend

George Wigmore – Divian Narendra – Aka freind of twins

Charlie Harvey – Winklevi Number 1

Camila Ruz – Winklevi Number 2

Thea Cunningham – Member of administrative board

Chloe McIvor – Member of administrative board

Anna Perman – Film board clapper operator

James Pope – Man at computer

And also

Lizzie Crouch – Who wasnt in the film but has helped promote it!

The Science Network

The Science Network

What would happen is the Social Network was about pubmed?

As promised here is The Science Network, a parody of the social network trailer all about science research and pubmed. It was made by Polly Bennett, Katya-yani Vyas and myself, with help from lots of friends and course-mates.

This was made for our MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London. We hope that you enjoy it!


Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook Wall: Facebook Shown to Boost Self-Esteem

Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook Wall: Facebook Shown to Boost Self-Esteem

Is my profile picture the fairest of them all? As a phenomena Facebook is still fairly new and its impact sociologically and psychologically remains to be completely understood. However, a new study has shone a little bit of light into this still cloudy area, claiming that looking at your Facebook profile page boosts your self-esteem.

The study was carried out by Amy Gonzales and Jeffrey Hancock of Cornell University. Previous research indicated internet use promotes depression, loneliness and to decreased social skills. However, the effect of Facebook exposure on general self-esteem had not been explored.

The participants were told that the study was designed to examine “people’s attitudes about themselves after exploring different Internet sites” and were separated into three groups. An online group, an offline group and an offline control group.

The online control group were asked to go onto their Facebook page and were given no instruction on whether or not they were allowed to change their page. After three minutes the researchers returned with a questionnaire. In the offline group a mirror was placed infront of the computer screen to act as an offline “self awareness stimulator” and were told they could not move it, due to it being “part of another experiment”. After three minutes they were given a questionnaire. The offline control group were placed in the same cubicle without the mirror and without the screen turned on.

Self-esteem was measure using the Rosenburg Self-Esteem scale and used to test several hypotheses. The hypotheses were as follows:

  1. Exposure to one’s Facebook site will have a more negative effect on self-esteem than traditional objective self-awareness stimuli
  2. Exposure to one’s Facebook site will have a more positive effect on self-esteem than a control condition or a traditional self-awareness stimuli
  3.  Participants who exclusively examine only their own profile will report higher self-esteem than participants who view other profiles in addition to their own profiles
  4.  Participants who make changes to their profile during the experiment will have higher self-esteem than participants who do not

Contrast analyses were undertaken that showed that there was a significant link between the Facebook views and an increase in self-esteem. When looking at the effect of individuals changing their Facebook pages the researchers declared that “participants who changed their profile during the study reported higher self-esteem than those who did not change their profile”.

But what does this tell us, about us? The results follow the Walther’s Hyperpersonal model, suggesting that the process of selective self-presentation of ourselves on Facebook influences our impressions of ourselves, in this instance boosting self-esteem. In contrast to this when presented with a non-edited view (i.e. mirror) self-esteem is decreased.

There are limitations in this study that need to be taken into account. The study did not normalise for the number and quality of friendships on Facebook. This is a factor that obviously could play a role in how someone interacts with the site. 

So, next time I am on Facebook when I probably should be working I will tell myself, don’t worry, it’s good for me…and will avoid looking in the mirror!

Gonzales AL, & Hancock JT (2011). Mirror, Mirror on my Facebook Wall: Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem. Cyberpsychology, behavior and social networking, 14 (1-2), 79-83 PMID: 21329447

How Social Networking Has Changed Our Lives

How Social Networking Has Changed Our Lives

This was originally published in the Imperial Felix Paper

December 23, 2006 at 20:41, “Ben has joined Facebook”. It was a simple page, no friends, no photos and a fake birth date to get around the age restrictions. If you had of told me then that this, and other social networking sites, would be the cornerstone of social interaction for our generation I happily admit I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But, whilst this development may be surprising I believe that it has been positive.

There have been many examples of where social networking has brought happiness to lives and in some cases saved them! Phillip Pain is a student at Southampton University who, whilst on a year out in Mexico, fell from the 7th floor of a hotel. Phillip needed several life saving operations however, the hospital did not have enough O negative blood for the operations to do ahead. His friends back in the UK made Facebook groups calling for people to help out. After 24 hours thousands of people had joined to spread the word. Then amazingly, people started turning up at the hospital to offer their blood and eventually there was enough for the operations.

Whilst social networking may not have such a drastic effect on the lives of most of us, its impact is undeniable. Each service has adapted to fill a niche, aiding and assisting normal forms of social interaction. LinkedIn is great for business, MySpace/ for music, twitter for journalism with Facebook a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ patriarchal figure. Each of these enhances how we interact each other in different ways, there are bands I wouldn’t have heard of if not for, news stories I wouldn’t have heard if not for twitter and events I wouldn’t have attended if not for Facebook.

‘The Facebook generation’ we have been called, compulsive tweeters, a mass of faceless online youths never leaving their computers. Whilst like anything there are those who take social networking too far, it is a fantastic tool if used correctly. It can connect you to anyone anywhere in the world, reunite lost friends and help to maintain long distance friendships that might otherwise disintegrate.

The true global potential of the medium is perfectly demonstrated by the recent story of Ashley Kerekes (aka @theashes), a 20 something American nanny and twitter user. She woke up one day to find that a large number of people had sent her messages on twitter regarding the ashes tour. Having no idea about cricket she responded to the people who were talking to here, initially with annoyance but this then developed into full conversations. Soon she had thousands of followers and through before the power of social networking was flown out to Australia to watch the ashes for real.

The social media revolution has without a doubt changed the way we interact with each other and the wider world. It has provided a new easy way to communicate and for those who want it, a channel through which your voice has the potential to be heard by millions.