The Meeting Place

How social networking keeps people healthy

Have you ever wanted to tell someone about a tough day at work or scary medical news, but felt nervous about calling a friend to share what's going on?

Findings from a new study suggest that people who feel apprehensive about one-on-one interactions are taking advantage of online social networks to help regulate emotions during times of need.

"When people feel badly, they have a need to reach out to others because this can help reduce negative emotions and restore a sense of well-being," says Eva Buechel, a professor at the University of South Carolina. "But talking to someone face-to-face or on the phone might feel daunting because people may worry that they are bothering them. Sharing a status update on Facebook or tweet on Twitter allows people to reach out to a large audience in a more undirected manner."

Sharing short messages to an audience on a social network, called microblogging, allows people to reach out without imposing unwanted communication on someone who might feel obligated to respond. Responses on online social networks are more voluntary.

To test whether people are more likely to microblog when they feel socially apprehensive, Prof Buechel asked participants in one group to write about a time when they had no one to talk to at a party, while the control group wrote about office products.

Then she asked the participants who had an online social network account to log in and spend two minutes on their preferred social network. When the time ended, she asked people if they had microblogged.

The results showed that those who had been led to feel socially apprehensive were more likely to microblog.

"There is a lot of research showing that sharing online is less ideal than having communication in person, but these social networks could be an important communication channel for certain individuals who would otherwise stay isolated," she says.

She acknowledges that there is a danger for those who start to rely on social media as their only form of communication, but when used wisely, microblogging can be a valuable means of buffering negative emotions though social interaction.

Do you think social media helps people deal with their emotions or do you think it causes more problems than it solves?



Quote...Do you think social media helps people deal with their emotions or do you think it causes more problems than it solves?

If one subscribes to social media in the hope that it will solve their problems...then they should not be using it..if on the other is used wisely then it could bring a lot of positive health benefits according to researchers..

It certainly helps some people to unburden themselves to an anonymous audience and that's a good thing..the only trouble is.. dealing with the trolls whose only purpose is to thwart any meaningful conversation can have a detrimental effect..




I think that we seem to have more nut cases and fruitcakes here in 0Z compared to other places I have been. Most of them work for the governments too or at least get paid by them.

I do not belong to facebook or such -- just a couple of forums -- I am sure people on facebook -- strangers would not care about what was going on in your life 2 mins after they had read about it



Belong to few news forums and can only speak for myself but believe some people truly have unhealthy connections, even to the point of addictions  to some online forum sites.....

Also believe 'less is more' when it comes to some social networking sites, thus prefer to limit my participation generally, and feel very comfortable and content with a low  level of participation....

Well this works for me.

Studies have shown that social media is detrimental to peoples well being. There is a depressed state that can occur if a person doesn't achieve enough "likes" on their post. People can become obsessed about the number of friends they attract, even if the majority of those "friends" are only casual acquaintances or friends of friends they have never actually met.

I tend to agree with that Old Man. Social media is socially high risk/high reward behaviour with those who become highly involved. However, it's a necessary evolutionary process though similar to motor vehicles. Online interaction will progress to a high speed highway with improved communication, allowing us to, not simply read typed words, but feel the feelings of someone on the other side of the planet within a split second. We are now driving the model T Ford and we will surpass the Lamborghini in a matter of a few short years. Some scientists believe we will be hard wired with chips connected to our brains. Futurists and scientists are already developing a new global language which can be used by a fully developed social media.

Sitting tickling a key board keeps you healthy?

Which idiot thought that up?

A good walk or a roll in hay might be good for you but talking by typing surely is not.



Some people get nothing out of "social networking". That is because they offer nothing. Networking as the word suggests means building relationships to better your own situation. If your situation remains static, give it up and join a local social club.