Lecture | March 7 | 4:10-5:30 p.m. | 202 South Hall
Social media platforms are often celebrated for their capacity to connect; yet expressing oneâs identity and seeking as well as providing social support on these platforms can be difficult when people experience distress and stigma. I use mixed methods and theorize social media behaviors such as sensitive disclosures and interactions around them, and provide designs and recommendations for social technologies that foster human well-being. I concentrate on forms of human suffering that can be isolating and lead to distress, such as abuse, mental illness, and pregnancy loss â a pervasive reproductive health complication. In this talk, I discuss three contributions of my research: (1) an examination of how people use visual and textual media to communicate about psychological vulnerabilities and how others respond, (2) a decision-making framework explaining stigmatized disclosures on social media and an accompanying mobile app prototype aimed at facilitating disclosure and social support exchange, and (3) a decision-making framework explaining why people respond or do not respond to stigmatized disclosures on social media. I conclude with future research directions about social technologies in service of a more empathetic and inclusive world, where vulnerable individuals are more empowered and their well-being is enhanced.
(This talk includes content about mental illness and pregnancy loss.)