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 Medblog.nl 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).
James R. Baker, Susan M. Moore (2008). Blogging as a Social Tool: A Psychosocial Examination of the Effects of Blogging CyberPsychology & Behavior, 2147483647-3 DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2008.0053