Transcription of interview with Stein, informatic student at Østfold University. The interviewee allowed the group to record the interview and publish the transcription of the interview with his first name.
As mentioned earlier in the blog, this interview was a semi-structured interview some predefined questions, allowing for follow-up questions. In this interview, we asked additional follow-up questions than we had planned in the interview guide.
26.09.2019 – 09:30-10:00 – A2-210
M = Mohamed (Interviewer)
S = Stein (Interviewee)
M: First of all, thank you for coming for this interview. Our first question is: How old are you?
S: I’m 23 years old.
M: 23 years old, okay.
M: And do you study here at the university?
S: Yes, I study bachelor in informatics.
M: Are you studying your first year right now?
S: Yes, the first year.
M: What kind of technology devices do you use in your everyday life?
S: I use my mobile phone, computers, both desktop and laptop, and I also use my PlayStation 4.
M: And how often do you use these technologies?
S: Most of them I use daily, except for the PlayStation, which I use on a weekly basis.
M: What do you use these technologies for?
S: I use them for both socializing, playing games, doing schoolwork and for media.
M: Yeah, so in other words production and communication?
S: Yeah, production, communication and entertainment.
M: I see.
M: These technologies that you mentioned, how do they help you communicate with others?
S: Eh, they make it easier to easily be able to connect with friends and other people.
M: Mhm, in what way?
S: Eh, it’s easier to get a hold of someone with for example my phone and with for example on a desktop or laptop I can easily also socialize with them using videogames and similar things.
M: How do you socialize with other people without the use of these technologies?
S: That would be meeting up with people in person.
M: So physically face-to-face meetings?
S: Yeah, physically face-to-face either through school or meeting up at home or meeting up somewhere else.
M: The next question is an open question. What is your opinion about using technology and social media to socialize with others?
S: I find it pretty positive, considering it makes it much easier to send messages, get a hold of someone. I’m also a bit negative since I might text rather than call someone which makes it a bit more distant.
M: Yeah, understood.
M: So, you have both positive and negative opinions about…
S: Yeah, mostly positive but of course some negative as well.
M: Also do you have any security concerns using these technologies for communication?
S: I do have security concerns considering spreading of data.
M: Go on.
S: Just been a lot cases with privacy concerning Facebook for example.
M: Yeah, data breaches.
S: Facebook is a platform I use daily, but there’s not that much sensitive information going out, it’s more just about personal data.
M: And what do you feel about that someone out there has access to your personal data?
S: It feels like you’re being used for their own winning in another context than just being a user.
M: Now we’re going to ask you two questions about your best and worst experiences with online communication, but we’ll finish one part before moving on to the opposite part. Let’s start with the positive. What is your best experience with online communication?
S: That would be making friends with people and making a network with people from around the world through games and through other means of online communication. That would be my most positive experience. My worst would be having someone harass you.
M: Yeah understood. We can move on towards the negative experiences after finishing the positive first.
M: So, you said your best experience was making friends and networks?
M: How does it make you feel when you create new friendships or networks with others?
S: It feels good, it’s like having… it’s like making friends through some socializing person-to-person. Of course it makes you more distant to the people who you never meet, but …eh.
M: But is it a good feeling for you when creating and bonding with others?
S: Yes, because then you know that most of the time if you just need to relax alone at home, or don’t want to hang out with someone, or just want to play video games or use skype instead for example. Having a network means that most of the time you’ll be able to find someone who just want to casually have a conversation with.
M: So, in other words you kind of prevent being lonely with online communication?
S: Yeah exactly.
M: How often do you create new friendships and networks via online communication?
S: Eh it used to be a lot more frequently before, but now I do more socializing through school than before when I went to “Folkehøgskole”. I’m using my computer less for example, and I’ve started hanging out with people instead.
M: When was the last time you made new friends or networks with online communication; do you remember?
S: Eh, probably around 2 years, 3 years ago.
M: 2-3 years ago?
S: Yeah, 2 to 3 since I made any new friends. So, I haven’t been using my computer as much as I did back then.
M: Okay, and now let’s jump back to the worst experience with online communication. What is your worst experience with online communication?
S: That would be being… that online communication makes it a lot easier for people to be able to harass you.
M: In what way?
S: In verbal harassment.
M: Why do you think that online communication makes it easier to verbally harass or bully someone?
S: Well, because you’re not looking at the face of another person. You’re just a name and it doesn’t even have to be your own name. So, it’s like you can harass others on for example Facebook comments, posts, news articles, blogs, forums etc. There is already a lot of harassment on these things I mentioned.
S: And that’s because it’s a lot easier to just be someone with a fake name.
M: How did this experience being harassed make you feel?
S: There and then it makes you feel.. at first it’s like, you feel okay, it’s just a person, but when it moves on to become more of stalking at the same time. Where someone can just find your information, and if they find your information and starts, the person can continue to dig deep. You can’t block someone if they can create new accounts. So, then it becomes more personal. So, it’s a learning experience.
M: How often does this harassment experience happen to you?
S: That situation doesn’t happen frequently, except for people saying negative words for a moment.
M: When was the last time you experienced this?
S: This was around five years ago.
M: Five years ago?
S: Yes, so it’s a while ago.
M: Okay, that is good to hear.
M: Does online harassment happen to people you know?
S: I don’t recall any specific occasion where that has happened to my friends. Most people do experience harassment online though, either through games or through people.
M: Yeah, absolutely.
M: Why do you think the people bullying or harassing others do it?
S: That I’m not so sure about. It could either be like a release, something personal going on in their life. It could be a lot I believe.
M: So you think if the harassers have some negativity in their life, they might want to take it out on others?
S: Yeah, exactly. That would be like steaming off. Just releasing some bad energy.
M: And lastly, is there anything we haven’t asked you about that you would like to add perhaps?
S: I don’t think so, no.
M: Alright then. That was all the questions we had prepared. I would like to thank you for joining us on this interview.
S: Thank you for having me.