Does Blogging Help You Find Happiness?

An example of a social network diagram.
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There’s some research out now suggesting that it might:

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.

I think there might be something to this. I know that way back when I started writing online about being a child abuse survivor, that connecting to other survivors, learning from each other, and supporting each other was a tremendous help to me, in terms of increasing the ways in which I was connected to other people and just felt like I belonged somewhere. Of course, I think that also has stepped outside of just “blogging” and into all of the various other technologies that are online currently helping people connect to each other. Just take a look at Twitter, Facebook, and even our own Abuse Survivors Network. I see exactly what they are talking about in this study, occurring each and every day on those sites as well. The technology is not only making staying in touch easier, but is helping folks like survivors, who have traditionally had a difficult time in social situations, to feel more comfortable and safe, and thus giving them freedom to be more expressive.

What do you think, has being active online, and connecting with other survivors, or just other people in general, been beneficial to your mental well-being?

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  1. actually what you write here is so true to me. i have been healed by blogging, in a sense. i mean, i have my savior. we all do. but the social connection of blogging has really helped me to leave some of my past in a safe place. in my closet. thanks for this post. very necessary reflection for me, another part of my healing. i love your blog here. i will read on.

  2. I think you could apply the same to “keeping a diary” as blogging. I wouldn’t say it’s made me happy but it’s certainly been a help to be much more self-aware and self-knowing than I could’ve been.

    Having said that, typing out my history has resulted in some extra emotional release as well every time, and it’s the specific typing it out, as opposed to cutting and pasting, that seems to do it. Connections with other survivors have been great for me, but it’s a shame that they have been more willing to be open online than to connect in real life. At some point the next step needs to be taken.

    But thanks for building it Mike! They’ve certainly come.

  3. CBG,

    You’re right, keeping a diary does help in terms of just being more aware of yourself, but I think blogging opens up another possibility because it allows you to connect with other people also. People read your blog, identify with what you’re saying, apply it to themselves, leave comments, engage in conversation and everyone benefits, as opposed to everyone writing and not sharing it.

    That being said, writing about abuse online is a somewhat safer activity than meeting people in real life. There’s a safety level in emailing, blogging, etc. because there isn’t someone “right there” in front of you. It’s not always easy for survivors to cross that bridge and feel safe. All of us are individuals and will make different decisions on where to draw the boundary, and that’s ok. It takes a lot of time to push the boundary even a little bit, and get used to the new boundary, then push it a little further, etc. It’s all a process, and we’re all in different places within it!

  4. Yep. I tend to isolate. So blogging, etc. gets me “out there” at least in the cyber sense. “…just felt like I belonged somewhere.” I can so relate. That’s a biggy for me.

  5. I certainly have gained insight while blogging. Learning others share the same struggles and pain. I can even learn some things that I had never thought of before. Good topic Mike!

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