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 â€” 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?