Dean's Lecture

Self-Disclosure and Response Behaviors in Socially Stigmatized Contexts on Social Media

Wednesday, March 7, 2018
4:10 pm - 5:30 pm
202 South Hall
Nazanin Andalibi

Social media platforms are often celebrated for their capacity to connect; yet expressing one’s 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 — 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.)

Nazanin Andalibi is a Ph.D. candidate in information science at the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University. She has worked as a Ph.D. research intern at Yahoo Research and holds an M.S. in socio-technical systems and a B.S. in computer science. Her research and teaching interests are in human-computer interaction, social computing, computer-supported cooperative work, and health informatics. Her publications have received best paper honorable mention awards and she is the recipient of Drexel University’s Outstanding Promise Award. Drawing on mixed methods and multiple disciplines, Nazanin’s research addresses how we can design social computing systems that facilitate disclosures of difficult human experiences and enable supportive interactions to form around them.

Last updated:

March 1, 2018