Blogging is Therapeutic for Teens
Who knew that social media could be beneficial for adolescents? According to a new study
by University of Haifa, Israel researchers, teenagers who blog to express their feelings and emotions is therapeutic for children ages 13-17. Psychology professors Meyran Boniel-Nissim and Azy Barak have found that a teenager writing a publicly-viewed blog on the internet is more effective for relieving stress rather than keeping a private diary. The study, published in the journal Psychological Services, supports the long-backed notion that expressing one’s self through writing can be therapeutic.
To conduct the research, Boniel-Nissim and Barak randomly selected Israeli high school students who displayed a certain degree of stress. The teenagers were then divided into six groups. Two groups were asked to post blogs twice a week about their social difficulties, but only one of them were to have opened the blogs for comments. The next set of groups were also asked to blog twice a week post about whatever was going on in their mind, again with one group allowing comments. The two control groups were asked to keep an old-fashioned private diary.
The researchers then collected the blog posts and diaries to discuss the adolescents’ emotional and social position. From the research, they saw that the greatest improvement in mood was with the bloggers who wrote about their personal troubles, and allowed people to interact with their posts. The research also noted that the comments were mostly positive and constructive. Boniel-Nissim and Barak said that the commenters’ interactions helped the bloggers while they were distressed. The conclusive research notes that expressing yourself on the internet not only lets others know what is personally going on with you, but also helps you figure out some things about yourself too.