Using Social Media in This Way Can Actually Be Good for Your Health
Social media has become an easy scapegoat. From creating unrealistic parenting standards to hurting your mental health, social media gets a bad rap. Although comparing yourself to others on these networks can lead to social media envy and depression, there’s a positive side that may benefit you. A new study from the Journal of Consumer Psychology reveals that microblogging on social networks may actually be *good* for your health. Yes, you read that correctly!
The researchers defined “microblogging” as sharing status updates on Facebook or Twitter. However, they didn’t include individual pictures or one or two-word captions. Microblogging has become a way for people to share details about their personal lives with a broader group of friends and family that may not be located nearby. Whether you need to vent about a difficult day at work or need support after getting some bad news, social media is a relatively easy platform to help release your emotions.
Benefits of Microblogging on Social Media
The study found that people who already have social anxiety were more likely to microblog after experiencing negative emotions (those who were lower on the scale of social anxiety tended to DM or reach out to people in-person). So for people who already feel a little isolated from others or may be uncomfortable directly talking to someone about their feelings, social media networks can be a safer space to do so to regulate their emotions.
“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. 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,” says Eva Buechel, one of the authors of the study.
Buechel warns that relying solely on social media for communication with others is not ideal, but having a platform to express certain emotions is better than not having one at all. So go ahead and let yourself have a Facebook rant every now and then; it really can be good for your health.
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