It’s always wonderful to share happy news – in person and on social media. But when the news is sad, distressing or traumatic, people are far less likely to share it – even though they may need lots more support than when good things are happening in their lives. Nazanin Andalibi, a postdoctoral research fellow at U-M’s School of Information studies how and why people use social media and technologies to express themselves and interact with others, especially when they experience stigma or adversities.
Recently, Andalibi set out to investigate how and why people share about one specific kind of adversity on social media – experiencing a pregnancy loss. “Women who experience pregnancy loss can feel isolated and socially stigmatized, and suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” she writes. “They often have a hard time telling others – even friends and loved ones – though that’s a key way they’ll get much-needed social support. Many people don’t tell anyone at all.”