You are invited to the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre Seminar

You are cordially invited to this seminar which is open to all BU staff and students.

(Please email for the zoom link to access the seminar).



Dementia and digital selfhood: Identity formation in the age of social media.

Dr. Catherine Talbot

10th February @ 12.30pm

Abstract:  A diagnosis of dementia in mid-life can be challenging, often causing losses or changes in a person’s identity as a worker, partner, or parent. Dementia also continues to be a stigmatised condition, whereby those with the diagnosis are frequently identified as ‘victims’ and ‘sufferers’. In contrast, social media may provide some individuals with a means of reconstructing identity, by facilitating narrative and community membership. In this presentation, Dr Catherine Talbot will discuss the findings of her interview study with 11 people with young-onset dementia who use Twitter. Her findings suggest that people with young-onset dementia are using Twitter to re-establish, communicate, preserve, and redefine their identities. However, there are some risks as Twitter was sometimes a hostile environment for individuals who did not present in a ‘typical’ manner or faced technical difficulties because of their symptoms. These findings have important implications for post-diagnostic support provision and the design of accessible social media platforms.

Biography: Catherine is a cyberpsychologist specialising in social media, health, and qualitative methods. Her PhD research concerned the use of Twitter by people with dementia to facilitate social connection, self-expression, and a sense of identity. She is interested in positive technology usage by people with stigmatised health conditions and how technologies can be developed to promote wellbeing and social inclusion. Catherine is a committee member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) Cyberpsychology Section.

Please email for the zoom link to access the seminar.