A View from Rachel Metz
Raging on the Web May Not Really Make Us Feel Better
Two studies suggest venting on so-called rant sites isn’t great for you. Grr.
Fans of venting–online and off–may find this interesting: According to recently published results of two studies, people who regularly post on websites specifically geared toward ranting (such as www.justrage.com) tend to feel calmer right after they post, but are also angrier than others generally and engage in unhealthy ways of expressing their anger. Writing, and reading, these posts can also lead to negative feelings like sadness.
The results were published in a recent article in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking titled “Anger on the Internet: The Perceived Value of Rant Sites.” The studies were led by Ryan Martin, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, who surveyed people who visit these sites.
In a press release, journal editor-in-chief Brenda K. Wiederhold says, “It will be interesting to explore in future studies if this finding extends to other social networking sites as well.”
I’d guess it does–I, for one, feel witty and good when I emit a mini-rant on Twitter, but usually feel kind of bad shortly thereafter–as well as to many other websites that allow comments, including this one (with that, feel free to rant in the comments).
Become an MIT Technology Review Insider for in-depth analysis and unparalleled perspective.Subscribe today