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Can Blogging Make You Happier?

By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

According to researchers in Taiwan, the answer is “Yes.”

The researchers (Ko & Kuo, 2009) administered a 43-item self-report survey to 596 college students who were mostly between ages 16 and 22 and female (71 percent). The college students were young adults who had blogging experience, …

-14 Comments to
Can Blogging Make You Happier?

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  1. potentially interesting, but really quite useless without a comparison (control) group of non-bloggers.

  2. Blogging is fun and even if the experience were neutral for the blogger, expressing that you do it (in social settings) means you are living in 2009. That alone will make one a little more interesting. Even though I am in the psychology field (practicing for 29 years) sociological movements have the power right now. Human beings are social. We like to connect and it helps us all to do just that. Thanks for the great article.

  3. @4herenoevil — Agreed, a control group would’ve been ideal. But we wouldn’t ordinarily expect college students (or anyone else) to just generally have increased levels of well-being over the time period of the study.

    Of greater concern is the causation equation again… Does blogging increase feelings of well-being, or are happier people more likely to be bloggers?

  4. Finally we have scientific evidence that proves the internet is not evil. HAZAH!…I’m kidding of course. I am glad to see that someone is taking a psychological look at how our online interactions effect ourselves and others. It might be interesting to see a study on how the different methods of journaling effect the level of self-satisfaction.

    On another note I can’t say that I’m surprised at all by the results. It seems that every day scientists find out about how everyday actions and interactions effect us. Bloging does have a soothing effect on myself. It is really a very effective method of articulating what you want to say and to get everything inside of your head out.

  5. Blogging helps me to figure things out. I can write about the same subject numerous times and eventually start to see the connections and same patterns which leads to the answer. In my experience mental health bloggers do not last very long as their personal blog becomes a constant reminder of everything that is going wrong in their life.

  6. Given the increasing popularity of blogging and social networking sites, like Twitter or Facebook, the study you cite in this post is both timely and meaningful. I found it intensely interesting that the authors of the research study used self-disclosure theory and social capital theory to illuminate some of the links between blogging and a subjective sense of well-being or happiness. However, I have a few questions pertaining to the internal and external validity of the study itself, and I was hoping to hear your opinion on them.

    When you mentioned that there “isn’t a whole lot of research into blogging, so this study is a valuable contribution to our knowledge and understanding of behavior,” are you concerned with the fact that this study was conducted in Taiwan, a more collectivistic culture, as opposed to the United States, whose citizens might have a more independent view of the self and culture? Will the results that were found in one location, in your opinion, translate to the people of another culture? Furthermore, a well known problem with many research studies is that the subjects are predominantly female college students. What kind of impact does this have on the generalizability of the study itself? Given that Facebook, a social networking site, posted on their statistics page, http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics, that “the fastest growing demographic is those 30 years old and older” do you foresee other studies being produced to account for different demographics?

    You mentioned in your post that “self-disclosure on those blogs will help them improve these existing relationships,” but can you imagine a situation in which blogging, with “lurking strangers (32.55%) or anonymous commenters might have a negative impact on self-reported happiness. A quick glance at most youtube.com comments to posted videos will show a fair amount of negativity from anonymity over the internet. Have you perhaps seen any current research with measures happiness, blogging, and anonymity? Finally, given the penchant for mainstream mass media to take psychological studies out of context as seen here: http://www.mindhacks.com/blog/2009/02/facebook_causes_marb.html, are you at all concerned with studies like these or other future studies misleading and changing public opinion and policy concerning the internet, blogging and social networking sites?

    I really appreciated your post about blogging and happiness, but I feel like there might be a few loose ends, and I look forward to hearing your opinion concerning the questions I have.

  7. Blog: A product of Modern Technology for Better English Communication.(please answer the following questions)

    These questions were made for our Term Paper. Please help us by answering the questions below.

    1. How does blog affect the traditional way of writing?

    2. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of Blog?

    3. How does blog help you? Do you think it develops your Intellectual skills?

    4.Blog : not just a hobby, but also a profession. Do you agree with the sentence? why?

    5. Blog: A product of Modern Technology for Better English Communication. Do you think the statement is true? why and how?

    thanks for answering! It helped us a lot! God Bless us all!!!

  8. maybe that’s the reason why blogging exploded in the past few years, thanks for the info

  9. thank you for the tips

  10. Blogging definitely helps me to develop a sense of community with my clients where not only do I hold them accountable to their goals but they hold me accountable to means. So indirectly us helping each other to stay in shape strengthens the relationships we have with one another by supporting and motivating each other which ultimately makes us happier.

  11. Very interesting info. Thanks

  12. Well, I never. I came across this site because I was trying to find out the usefulness of blogging. Someone I know, way back before the internet, told me that whenever they were upset, they would write down a letter (Yea! Blog minus internet) on paper and then toss it in the bin. The writing experience helped them feel better.
    Hmm, guess that’s what people are doing noe on the internet. The person doesn’t do that anymore either on paper or on the internet but they sure feel better about things than I do. I never blog and tend to feel bad quite a lot. Well, that’s why I’m reading this site.

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