Assistant Professor

Social technologies and identity transitions / life transitions / life events

Each person faces many transitions throughout their life as they develop, age, and change. Yet people often find it difficult to manage where and how to present and discuss life transitions and changing identities on social media sites, and to find communities of similar others. These difficulties are often amplified for those with marginalized or stigmatized identities (e.g., transgender and other LGBQ people, first generation and low-income college students). This line of research addresses these concerns via a wide range of methods. We seek to explain how people fragment their identities and networks among separate social media sites during major life transitions, and the social inequities that exist for people with marginalized identities, particularly those with multiple intersecting marginalized identities, during major life transitions (among other outcomes).

A major contribution of this line of research is The Major Life Events Taxonomy, a new taxonomy of 121 major life events in 12 categories that researchers can use to understand how life transitions people experience relate to their behaviors, health and psychological outcomes, and technology use.

Selected Publications

The Major Life Events Taxonomy: Social Readjustment, Social Media Information Sharing, and Online Network Separation During Times of Life Transition
Oliver L. Haimson, AJ Carter, Shanley Corvite, Brookelyn Wheeler, Lingbo Wang, Tianxiao Liu, Alexxus Lige
Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), 72(7), July 2021 (first published online January 2021), p. 933-947
[open-access link] [PDF] [taxonomy]

The Online Authenticity Paradox: What Being "Authentic" on Social Media Means, and Barriers to Achieving It
Oliver L. Haimson, Tianxiao Liu, Ben Zefeng Zhang, Shanley Corvite
Proceedings of the ACM Human Computer Interaction (PACM HCI), 5(CSCW2), Article 423, October 2021, 18 pages (to be presented at CSCW 2021)
[link] [PDF] [video]

Transgender identity management across social media platforms
Justin Buss, Hayden Le, Oliver L. Haimson
Media, Culture & Society, June 2021
[link] [PDF]

Online Transgender Health Information Seeking: Facilitators, Barriers, and Future Directions
Taika Augustaitis, Leland A. Merrill, Kristi E. Gamarel, Oliver L. Haimson
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 2021, Article 205, 14 pages
[acceptance rate: 26%]
[open-access link] [PDF] [video]

Coming Out to Doctors, Coming Out to 'Everyone': Understanding the Average Sequence of Transgender Identity Disclosures Using Social Media Data
Oliver L. Haimson, Tiffany C. Veinot
Transgender Health, 5(3), September 2020 (first published online April 2020), p. 158-165
[open-access link] [PDF]

Challenging "Getting Better" Social Media Narratives With Intersectional Transgender Lived Experiences
Oliver L. Haimson
Social Media + Society, 6(1), March 2020
[open-access link] [PDF]

Tumblr was a Trans Technology: The Meaning, Importance, History, and Future of Trans Technologies
Oliver L. Haimson, Avery Dame-Griff, Elias Capello, Zahari Richter
Feminist Media Studies, 21(3), 2021 (first published online October 2019), p. 345-361
[open-access link] [PDF] [blog]

Mapping Gender Transition Sentiment Patterns via Social Media Data: Toward Decreasing Transgender Mental Health Disparities
Oliver L. Haimson
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) (special issue on Health Informatics and Health Equity: Improving Our Reach and Impact), 26(8-9), August/September 2019 (first published online May 2019), p. 749-758
[open-access link] [PDF] [blog]

Social Media as Social Transition Machinery
Oliver L. Haimson
Proceedings of the ACM Human Computer Interaction (PACM HCI), 2(CSCW), Article 63, November 2018, 26 pages (presented at CSCW 2018)
[acceptance rate: 26%] [Best Paper Honorable Mention Award]
[link] [PDF] [blog]

The Social Complexities of Transgender Identity Disclosure on Social Media
Oliver L. Haimson
Doctoral dissertation
University of California, Irvine, 2018

Relationship Breakup Disclosures and Media Ideologies on Facebook
Oliver L. Haimson, Nazanin Andalibi, Munmun De Choudhury, Gillian R. Hayes
New Media and Society, 20(5), May 2018 (first published online June 2017), p. 1931-1952
[link] [PDF]

Class Confessions: Restorative Properties in Online Experiences of Socioeconomic Stigma
Eugenia Ha Rim Rho, Oliver L. Haimson, Nazanin Andalibi, Melissa Mazmanian, Gillian R. Hayes
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 2017
[acceptance rate: 25%]
[link] [PDF]

Digital and Physical Barriers to Changing Identities
Oliver L. Haimson
XRDS: Crossroads, The ACM Magazine for Students, Winter 2017
[link] [PDF]

Digital Footprints and Changing Networks During Online Identity Transitions
Oliver L. Haimson, Jed R. Brubaker, Lynn Dombrowski, Gillian R. Hayes
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 2016
[acceptance rate: 23%] [Best Paper Honorable Mention Award]
[link] [PDF]

Online Inspiration and Exploration for Identity Reinvention
Oliver L. Haimson, Anne E. Bowser, Edward F. Melcer, Elizabeth F. Churchill
ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 2015
[acceptance rate: 23%]
[link] [PDF]

Disclosure, Stress, and Support During Gender Transition on Facebook
Oliver L. Haimson, Jed R. Brubaker, Lynn Dombrowski, Gillian R. Hayes
ACM CSCW Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, March 2015
[acceptance rate: 28%] [Best Paper Honorable Mention Award]
[link] [PDF]