They always say that “talking about your problems” makes you feel better. Why can’t writing about them do the same thing?
Many people take to the Internet to blow off some steam or rant about something that’s bothering them. Research shows that this “stress blogging” really does help.
The Internet gets a bad reputation for taking younger kids away from more gainful activities such as playing outside or getting involved in team sports, etc. But research shows that in some cases, it can greatly benefit kids (especially those with social anxiety).
Blogging has been shown to improve self-esteem and even enhance friendships. Says Meyran Boniel-Nissim, Ph.D., of the University of Haifa in Israel: “Research has shown that writing a personal diary and other forms of expressive writing are a great way to release emotional distress and just feel better.”
Children with social anxiety often have trouble communicating in face-to-face interaction for fear of physical symptoms, such as facial blushing or sweating, giving away their secret. By communicating online, they are able to avoid these physical problems and communicate even more effectively with their peers.
Blogging can help adults using the Internet as well. “Mommy blogging” has been shown to reduce the stress of new mothers. Heather Armstrong began “mommy blogging” after she had her baby. She received so much support from readers and other mothers that it literally “saved her life.”
Armstrong was experiencing post-partum issues and blogging about it. Other mothers who had experienced or were experiencing the same issues helped her to take the step of checking herself into a psychiatric clinic to get help for this problem.
Brandon McDaniel, a psychology major at Penn State, did a study and wrote a paper on “mommy blogging.” He noted that the more the new mothers blogged, the better they felt.
According to McDaniel, “Mothers may be able to share successful personal experiences on a blog or social networking site and receive feedback from other parents that will reinforce perceptions of social support…. Mothers may also learn through observation or vicarious experience as they read about others’ experiences.”
By sharing personal experiences online, you are reaching out to such a large and diverse crowd. Therefore, you are able to get responses from many different perspectives. Although communicating via the Internet cannot measure up to the intimacy of a face-to-face conversation, maybe some people would rather hide behind a screen when they are sharing personal information. Whether you are talking to a friend over lunch or blogging about your problems, it is important to seek help and advice in whichever way you feel most comfortable.