The Discovery Channel is reporting
that a study published in CyberPsychology and Behavior
found that there may be some psychological benefits to blogging and/or using online communities like MySpace
. The study followed about sixty people who were updating their MySpace blogs regularly. After two months of blogging these people felt more confident and more involved.
Researchers James Baker and Susan Moore have written two papers investigating the psychological benefits of blogging and regularly updating personal Web pages with information that invites others to comment.
The first, published in the latest issue of the journal CyberPsychology and Behavior, compares the mental health of people intending to blog with that of people not planning to blog.
Moore says the researchers messaged 600 MySpace users personally and directed them to an online survey. A total of 134 completed the questionnaire; 84 intended to blog and 50 didn't.
"We found potential bloggers were less satisfied with their friendships and they felt less socially integrated, they didn't feel as much part of a community as the people who weren't interested in blogging ... they were also more likely to use venting or expressing your emotions as a way of coping," Moore said.
"It was as if they were saying 'I'm going to do this blogging and it's going to help me'."
And it seemed to do the trick, as the researchers' second study shows.
This study, which is yet to be published, was conducted two months later. The researchers sent out questionnaires to the same group of MySpace users; this time 59 responded. Bloggers reported a greater sense of belonging to a group of like-minded people and feeling more confident they could rely on others for help.
The study found that the bloggers (technically MySpace users in this study) reported feeling "less anxious, depressed and stressed" after two months of blogging. To be fair the people going into the two month study were optimistic that blogging would help them in the first place. It is also interesting to know that there is a journal called CyberPsychology and Behavior
. You can read more about the bi-monthly peer reviewed journal here