Social media platforms have become sites for sociopolitical engagement with individuals increasingly using these platforms to advocate and share about sociopolitical issues. As social media becomes ubiquitous in the lives of youth, we are interested in how youth's exposure to online sociopolitical content influences their identity as engaged citizens in a democratic society. Historically, youth's identity formation as democratic citizens occurs within civic education classes and community engagement programs. As such, we leverage existing literature that discusses youth's education as democratic citizens in these contexts to shape our understanding of how social media can facilitate or hinder youth's identity formation.
Our research group examines how novel interactive computing systems can help people to achieve a state of wellness, as defined by the World Health Organization: "Wellness is the realisation of the fullest potential of an individual physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually and economically."
We are particularly interested in issues of health equity, designing innovative software tools for populations who disproportionately experience barriers to wellness. To this end, our research explores how social, mobile, and ubiquitous software systems can support health literacy, healthy behaviors, and health advocacy in low-socioeconomic and racial/ethnic minority groups. The Wellness Technology Lab utilizes user-centered, participatory design methods to design and build engaging and motivating software systems, and conducts in-depth field studies to evaluate user experience with and impact of these tools. Our work contributes to the fields of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), social computing, ubiquitous computing (Ubicomp), and personal/consumer health informatics.