Xiyue Yang

UI/UX Designer; Experience Crafter
Thesis Faculty
David Carroll, Dan Taeyoung, Barbara Morris, Jessica Marshall

Sound of Silence

Sound of Silence

Sound of Silence is an artistic documentation of the restrictive effects of social media on women’s self-exploration, focusing on the three stages of a woman’s life: singlehood, marriage, and motherhood. The project critically examines the limitations imposed by the rigid categorizations of social media platforms, revealing the perpetuation of narrow and limiting representations of women. Through an in-depth analysis of specific user tags, the project highlights the scarcity of digital spaces for young women to fully express themselves. The impact of these constraints on women’s lives extends beyond the digital realm, resulting in the repetitive emphasis on their societal function as reproductive agents. The project aims to document the researcher’s personal struggles and offer a renewed perspective to the audience regarding their social media content consumption and its impact on their mental state. The project encourages a re-evaluation of the audience’s understanding of women’s multifaceted identities, beyond the limiting societal expectations. “Sound of Silence” ultimately serves as a powerful statement on the urgent need to create inclusive and diverse digital spaces for women to explore and express themselves fully.


Who is panting the canvas?

Why does this matter?

In today’s commercial environment, people are often divided into various subgroups for more accurate marketing results. The more precise the targeting of audiences, the better the product sells. The same concept applies to social media, which has witnessed the rapid growth of the Influencer Economy. Social media platforms like TikTok and RED collect massive amounts of user behavioral data to push highly specified content to their users. However, the downside of this accurate content feed is that it pigeonholes individuals into specific tags and labels based on their interests, cultural identity, age, and gender. I find this to be extremely problematic since the repetitive presentation of similar content to targeted users can become a form of brainwashing. “Sound of Silence” critiques the mechanism behind user categorization and profiling, particularly in terms of my constant struggle with being labeled as a female from Chinese culture.

The Making