Monday, February 23, 2009

Blogging and Happiness

If used like a personal journal, however public, blogging makes people happier:
The researchers found support for deeper self-disclosure from bloggers resulting in a range of better social connections. These included things such as a sense of greater social integration, which is how connected we feel to society and our own community of friends and others; an increase in social bonding (our tightly knit, intimate relationships); and social bridging — increasing our connectedness with people who might be from outside of our typical social network.

They also hypothesized and found support from their data that when these kinds of social connections increase or grow deeper through blogging, a person will also feel a greater subjective sense of well-being or happiness.

(h/t Andrew Sullivan)


Darren Staley said...

I started using the Internet around 1996, long before blog was even a word. My first PC was an HP with an external 28.8 modem running AOL 3.0 (to the best of my memory).

Through those early years, it was cool to be a secret person behind a screen name. In the chat rooms, people only knew each other by these names, and while that became quite social, it was still rather impersonal.

When the blogs took off, I initially enjoyed anonymity there as well. Eventually, however, that became a curse. Using your online pseudonym began to mean that you had something to hide and/or that you lacked the credibility to discuss a particular subject.

The reason I started using my real name on blogs (and making my real name public when I use a pseudonym) was my way of saying "here I am, you may disagree with me, I may be talking out of my ass, but I have nothing to hide."

Now, I am not calling those who use screen names are less than honest. I understand that people can lose their jobs over an online post. I just happen to be in a position where using my real name is freeing, to me. In the end, I have been treated no differently under crowbar317 than I have under Darren Staley. But real names seem more social. So I use mine.

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