If you’re feeling miserable and can’t get The Smiths off repeat play on your CD player*, get blogging (or log on to a social networking site) and you’ll soon be breaking out the Kylie, stripping off your top and whooping around the house with unbridled joy.
Well, OK, we’re exaggerating slightly, but research from boffins at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia insists that blogging helps people turn that frown upside down
The results of two studies on the psychological benefits of blogging carried out by Swinburne Masters student, James Baker and Professor Susan Moore have now been published in a journal entitled Cyber Psychology and Behaviour.
According to their findings, blogging can cheer up folks in just two months, with cyber writers enjoying a feeling of better social support and friendship networks compared to non blogging types.
The studies also found that blogging made folks feel less alone and connected to a community of like minded individuals, gaining self confidence and self-worth. Bloggers also felt more comfortable about relying on others for help.
The same feelgood factor was also reported for users of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook with all participants – bloggers or not – reporting less anxiety, stress and depression in their lives after just two months of online social networking.
“Keeping a blog is a bit like writing a diary,” piped up Professor Baker. “It helps people vent their emotions, talk about their feelings and problems. The difference is that while a diary is private, blogging invites feedback from others,” she added.
(*we like The Smiths actually, and we’re all cheerful chappies. Especially after Cardiff City’s result in the FA Cup.)