The Benefits of Blogging

Over the years, I have filled many notebooks with barely legible handwriting, lamenting such-and-such boy or failed test or why so-and-so was being so mean to me. Journaling is, perhaps, the cheapest form of therapy. Though some still prefer pen and paper to keyboard and monitor, many teens would rather blog than write in a diary, and now The New York Times reports that teens blogging about their problems are engaging in a form of therapy.

A study conducted by psychology professors at the University of Haifa, Israel, included 161 Israeli high school students who exhibited some level of social anxiety or stress. Dividing them into six groups, they asked teens to blog about their problems, random things, or nothing at all. Then a portion of these groups made their entries open for comments, while the rest remained private.

The results? Well, the teens who wrote about what was troubling them and were able to receive comments -- words of commiseration and support -- showed the biggest positive emotional improvement. Sometimes the Internet gets a bad reputation with all the stories of cyber-bullying, but it can also make people feel not so alone.