I have finally entered the empirical research stage of my PhD, and I am so very excited about it! In fact, it’s the first time I’ve actually been excited about my studies in many, many months. (Yes, the literature review part really did drag my spirits down.)
The pilot study is testing the methods and the data collection tools for the first stage of my empirical research. It involves a two-step process for participants. The first step is to keep a diary for one week where they will record some of their thoughts and process regarding their social media use. I will then review the diaries before the second stage, which will be in-depth interviews.
I have recruited eight participants and have a couple of extra people in place in case one of the first participants can’t complete the study. That means eight diaries and eight interviews to transcribe. This is a lot of work, but it will help me to determine how much time I need to set aside for the main study.
I will be done with my data collection by the end of July. Then, I will try my best to figure out how to analyse all of it without going crazy. I expect to use NVivo for coding my data, but I tend to be a bit tactile as well, so might find myself working with hard copies of at least some of the data.
Once the pilot study is done, I will be in a position to fully plan the next stages of my main study. I expect that there may be a few tweaks based on the pilot, but that’s what the pilot is for!
Stay tuned for details!