The study tracked self-esteem, emotional distress and social anxiety and compared results to teens who wrote private diaries and to the control group who did nothing. The bloggers who were specifically instructed to write at least twice a week about their difficulties and left their blogs open to comments noticed the biggest improvement. Comments left on the teen’s blogs were overwhelmingly positive, according to researchers.
We spoke to Katie Hurley, licensed clinical social worker, about the idea that blogging might be therapeutic for teens. "Blogging can be a great emotional outlet for teens struggling with social anxiety, self-esteem issues, and stress,” says Hurley. “Essentially, it's a modern day diary. Supervision and education is required to help teens learn how to safely navigate social media and cope with potentially negative input from readers.” Blogging may be a good outlet for teens to deal with the ups and downs of life, but it may not be a replacement for therapy for teens in distress. "While journaling feelings (online or with pen and paper) can be an effective tool for teens and aid in the therapeutic process, it does not replace therapy, particularly for high-risk teens," says Hurley. If your teen struggles with anxiety or self-esteem issues, a blog may be a healthy outlet for them as long as you monitor the comments and posts.
Blogging may be a healthy way for teens to explore the feelings and anxiety that they are experiencing, but teens who suffer from anxiety disorders, depression and other serious issues need to be addressed by a qualified professional.
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