You are on page 1of 7

5 Crazy Psychological Effects Social Media Can Have On Us

by M ITC HE LL C U E VA S on MAY 4, 2011

Its hard to know what the long-term effects of social media will be, especially on younger generations that will grow up plugged into Facebook as soon as they can type. What we can look at though, are some short-term effects, not all of which are negative. In fact, some great articles over at PsychCentral point to some positive effects of blogging, among other interesting phenomena. Check it out! 1. Blogging can make you happier: Researchers found thatblogging resulted in a sense of greater social integration, which is a huge factor in how connected we feel. The level of connection we feel has a direct effect on our overall happiness. 2. More friends, less socially gifted: Apparently, the more friends you have on Facebook, the less socially adjusted you areand the less actual friends you have. The study, done on college students entering college, showed that while more facebook friends meant less real friends, those effects faded over time and became less true as they grew older. 3. Well choose Facebook over sex: It sounds crazy, but 30% of men and 46% (almost half!) of women would choose to gowithout sex for two weeks than the internet for the same period of time. See what else well give up sex for 4. Blogging can improve friendships: Bloggers reported feelingcloser to their offline friends after connecting online via blog. Blogging may function as a safe space where people seek out others for mutual feedback and support, fostering a sense of security and help. -PsychCentral 5.

circle than you realize.

witter brings us closer together: Twitter has become a news and information

super highway, but it also has another function; it boosts what psychologists call ambient awareness. Ambient awareness allows us to be more aware, if only subconsciously of the rhythm of our friends lives. A quick scan through your Twitter feed gives you more information about what is going on in your social

The psychological effects of blogging


Blogging is the recording of ones thoughts, news or commentary and the sharing of links, videos and even music in a specifically constructed web page, the blog, short for web log. A blog can also be collective or be part of a community. According to the type of blog someone keeps, he/she might have different expectations and different motivations. Private individuals create blogs as a vehicle for self-expression and self-empowerment. According to Blood, blogging makes people more thoughtful and articulate observers of the world around them. (Herring Scheidt, Bonus, Wright) The most popular blog type, the personal journals, whether they are directed towards the self or towards the others usually have two major purposes: benefiting the individual and his/her understanding of oneself or benefiting ones relationships with the others.

Benefits of blogging

Maybe it should be considered that the people who start blogging begin with a certain amount of optimism, but keeping an online diary might help individuals feeling more socially accepted and have more satisfaction with their friendships. They also exhibit less anxiety and depression. Bloggers are given the opportunity to vent and express their emotions. (Baker and Moore) Another important benefit of blogging is helping individuals improve their information handling skills. Properly expressing the issue developed, with a meaningful organization and source handling is essential in the success of a blog and its effectiveness. Blog authors have repeated experience in appropriately transmitting information, leaving comments on other's blogs, pinging TrackBacks, and obtaining new information from other blogs. (Miura & Yamashita) It must also be noted that positive feedback is essential in the benefit one can have from keeping a blog and it can contribute to the willingness somebody can have in continuing to blog. It can influence

positively not only the personal satisfaction with expressions of sympathy, support, or encouragement but it can also affect the satisfaction with the information one receives. (Miura & Yamashita) Writing in a blog can be satisfying in an artistic level (actually posting art of any form or just making it look beautiful by itself), a personal level (feeling better about oneself by expressing concerns, troubles or simply ranting) and a social level (receiving comments means that others see and read the blog and if its a group blog it needs coordination and discussion on the content with others). Both positive and negative comments can have psychological benefits. Of course positive comments are always encouraging. But even the negative ones, when the blogger realizes that they are just the thought of one other person, he can use them in better defending his/her position or even become aware of different thought patterns. Sometimes we become aware of how important something is when the others ignore it or we see how common and insignificant something is when other comment on it. Actually, a blog can function as psychotherapeutic medium involving language, images, sound, color and a lot of interaction with others. In order for it to function primarily as a psychotherapeutic tool it must have a protective boundary with privacy tools that blogging sites provide.

Dangers of blogging

Blogging can have negative effects, especially if someone spends so much time with it that he/she starts neglecting social life or other important priorities. But this can be the consequence of excessive internet use in general. There is a negative effect of blogging and participating in communities through blogging because of the social component of the activity. It is the negative effect of having to deal with unpleasant situations, angry and even disrespectful people. This can happen also in forums and chat rooms, but by definition a blog is a lot more personal. Although moderating comments might be met with hostility, it can also be necessary as a protection from the harm negative feelings can do in ones life. Accepting anything in ones blog might reflect the consequences of accepting anything in real life. Kathy Sierra explains how mirror neurons automatically mentally mimic whatever we perceive and how emotions can be contagious. (Sierra, 2006) A blogger might have to face hostility, irony or even ambiguity that triggers confusion and causes a lot of pressure. Moreover, as Dear Famous A$$hole and Jami, two randomly chosen bloggers explain, a lot of pressure can arise from the quest of interesting subjects and the need to update the blog frequently. (Dear Famous A$$hole, 2005, Jami, 2006).

In addition, frequent updates can lead to more readers, more comments to deal with and more pressure to keep blogging. And this is where blogging ceases to be a psychotherapeutic tool. It might help people build up self-confidence, but this confidence needs experience, and bloggers need to be patient and have long-term goals instead of constant pressure. Ever increasing expectations can make blogging an obsession. (Whitehill, 2007) What must be also mentioned is that when bloggers continuously check out who is visiting their blog and why, they might find out that the visitors were searching for something that was not actually in the blog. As Stan Haskins mentions, this can create a feeling of inadequacy and disappointment. It is an opportunity to deal with the fact that we cant satisfy everyone in life. (Haskins, 2007) Finally, a last danger of blogging that must be mentioned is the one of stalking and this is why the practice of blogging needs either locked entries or minimal mentioning of private identification that can help tracking.


Keeping a blog can be a very interesting and enriching experience but it is a choice that becomes a lifestyle and it needs caution. Bloggers must remember that the primary motivation must be fun and that expressing themselves is more important than acquiring and maintaining fame.

Works cited

Dear Famous A$$hole (2005) The pressure of blogging. Paperbride. Retrieved in Thursday 15 May 2008 from Haskins, Stan. (2007) Blogging as psychotherapy: my new mission statement. Glued to the string. Retrieved in Thursday 15th May 2008 from Herring, Susan; Lois Ann Scheidt; Sabrina Bonus; Elijah Wright. 2004. "Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs". Proceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Science HICSS37. Jamie (2006) Jami Cracks Under the Pressure of Blogging. The Very Important Thoughts Of Jami. Retrieved in Thursday 15th May 2008 from

th Miura, Asako. Yamashita Kiyomi. (2007). Psychological and social influences on blog writing: An online survey of blog authors in Japan. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 12(4), article 15. Retrieved in Thursday 15 May 2008 from Ryan, Claudine. (2008) Blogging boosts your social life: research. ABC news.Retrieved in Thursday 15th May 2008 from Sierra, Kathy. (2006) Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain. Creating passionate users. Retrieved in Thursday 15th May 2008 from
th Whitehill, Nate. (2007) The pressures of blogging consistently. Retrieved in Thursday 15th May
2008 from
One of the most amazing ideas of being a human is our emotions. Only humans are blessed to feel and express our emotions in our own and unique ways. We often experience multiple emotions every day. It is also a proof that we are alive and we feel what is happening around us. We often show our emotions to our loved ones especially if we are greatly affected with the situation. It is also amazing how we develop such emotions even without learning them. Our emotions are the perfect things that make us all humans. According to some psychologists, humans are all capable of faking their smile but not their emotions. It is the thing that makes us true in our deeds and activities. Socialization also depends on the emotion of a person. It affects the way he or she socializes with another person. However, because we are also affected with the norms of the society there are times that we need to manage our emotions in such a way that we remain our sanity and decency. Although it is indeed difficult to partially hide our true emotions we are encouraged to be more flexible since we are governed with our thoughts and beliefs. We sometimes need to divert all of our attentions to prevent conflict and other forms of disturbances. Aside from the advantage of having different emotions we are more blessed to have the ways on how we can express our emotions. Keeping a diary is one of the best ways to express emotions in a secretive way. During the past years, keeping a journal is indeed a great outlet for unloading our emotions. According to psychologists writing has a different impact on the emotions of the people. It soothes and calms their stressed minds. Aside from the fact that writing is a secretive form of expressing your emotions it is also a great avenue for you to develop the ability of holding your emotions. Almost all famous authors and poets are much known because of their heartwarming stories and poems. They have the ability to mask their emotions by using the most

vivid words in the vocabulary. They compile these words to create a poem. It is even magical how we are moved by the stories of certain forms of writings just by reading its entire content. The advancement of technology never became a hindrance for us to express our emotions. In fact, it became one of the best ways to cope our emotions such as blogging. Blogging is the modern form of writing a diary. A blogging is done by person who writes articles, stories or even just a product of his or her own experience and post in the internet. Although blogging has less privacy compared to a diary, you are still given the chance to express your thoughts and emotions. Blogging even became an avenue for some individuals to share their interests and hobbies in life. Nowadays, there are several blogging communities that can be found in the internet. It is also possible for you to meet other individuals through blogging. The advancement of the technology affected much of our daily activities. Life is indeed full of twists and turns. We often find ways on how we can deal with our emotions and it is better than to let our feelings eat us. One of the best way to manage our emotions is through blogging. It is the modern way of expressing our thoughts and opinions in a more realistic way. Click here for more details on how blogging became the best outlet for some individuals in dealing with their problems and anxieties. Article Source:

Article Source: In comparison to non bloggers the bloggers levels of social integration and the tendency to count on others for assistance (reliable alliance) increased over time in as short as a period of two months. Compared to non bloggers, bloggers were more satisfied with number of face-to-face and online friends and with closeness of face-to-face friendships. These changes were not present for non bloggers. Both groups were less psychologically distressed after using MySpace for 2 months than when they first joined, but not significantly so. Higher levels of social integration suggest that bloggers feel greater belonging to a group of likeminded people with interests and ways of thinking similar to their own. You can express your stress factors and emotions on blogs, get it of your chest. Blogging can provide you with social support, friendship and positive interactions. Blogs can bring together likeminded and supportive communities and thus provide opportunities to relieve feelings of isolation. Blogs may allow authors to communicate subject matter difficult to express in regular social interaction by reducing social constraints that hinder discussion of distressing events in offline life.

Does Dr Shock have social support, friendship and positive interactions with his blog? He certainly does. Aqua and Herb were the first to express positive critique giving him the change to improve his writing. Jan at and Laika were an example to him and of great help. To name only a few. The conclusions of this research as written at the first lines of this post were recently published. It has some limitations that can be derived from the design. New MySpace users (N=58) were surveyed on joining the site and again in 2 months to examine psychosocial differences between bloggers and nonbloggers over time. The question remains if these results can be extrapolated to other blog platforms, follow-up was short. If the follow up increases advantages of blogging may become more prominent. A strong point for this research is the use of a control group (non bloggers on MySpace)