New Study: Blogging Can Help Teens with Social Anxiety

We have all heard the phrase “Get it off your chest,” encouraging one to talk about what is troubling or concerning them. With the advent of the computer age and all of the social media that has followed, this phrase has become much easier to follow, on a regular basis.  Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow individuals to share what they are feeling in bite size doses, and immediately receive feedback from friends and strangers. Now a new study out of Israel has focused on how blogging can help “adolescents with social problems…benefit from the added social connectivity.”

Using a pool of 161, teens ages 14-17, who were experiencing significant social anxiety and distress in interacting with their peers; the researchers broke the teenagers up into six groups. “Four of the groups blogged at least twice weekly:  one group wrote about their social problems in a blog open to comments, another wrote about those issues in a closed blog, a third wrote about general topics on an open blog and the fourth wrote similarly for one that was closed.  All of the blogging groups used nicknames and were instructed not to reveal their real names online. The final two groups included one that wrote a private diary on a computer about social difficulties and a control group that wasn’t assigned to write at all.”

According to results, all of the writing groups reported an improvement in their moods and self-confidence levels after blogging for 10 weeks. The group that showed the most improvements were teens who had blogged on sites where comments were allowed. These teens reported “feeling less social distress, gaining more self-esteem and engaging in more social activity in real life.”

The researchers from the University of Haifa believe “that the characteristics of the Internet and the qualities of expressive writing can be maximized by blogging. A blog can provide the unique combination of a comfortable space for self-expression, one that is both intimate and authentic, with an interactive social environment that is popular among adolescents.”

Although this study had positive results the researchers added a note that they had not studied the effects of negative comments posted on the blogs, which might hinder the positive effects of blogging.

Overall this research suggests that “the Internet has an enormous potential to help socially awkward teens recognize that the social structure of their high school isn’t the only one that’s important in their lives, and that even if they feel alone in their interests or experiences, there are others out there who share them.”

To access the entire article go here:http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/06/blogging-helps-socially-awkward-teens/

The following are a list of blogs written by teens:

http://www.talentedyoungpeople.blogspot.com/

http://www.oliviascuttingedge.blogspot.com/

http://lightedpen.blogspot.com/

http://mindmixxes.blogspot.com/

http://strawberry-gashes.net/

http://extraordinarykiddo.com/

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2 Responses to “New Study: Blogging Can Help Teens with Social Anxiety”

  1. Although I aspirate this study I think the teens should spend more time actually interacting on a meet and greet bases.

    I know that we are living in an instant quick fix age and the ipad, computer and mobile device has taken the place of face to face communication.

    However I still believe that the joy and pain we get from physical interaction is of grater benefit to us in the long run.

  2. This is the right site for anybody who wants to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic which has been written about for years. Excellent stuff, just great!

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