Cyber-Catharsis: Bloggers Use Web Sites as Therapy

The Internet is now teeming with some 15 million blogs. Although the medium first drew mainstream attention with commentary on high-profile events such as the presidential election, many now use it to chronicle intensely personal experiences, venting confessions in front of millions of strangers who can write back.

Nearly half of bloggers consider it a form of therapy, according to a recent survey sponsored by America Online Inc. And although some psychologists question the use of the Internet for therapy, one hospital in High Point, N.C., started devoting space to patients’ blogs on its Web site, a practice Inova Fairfax Hospital is also considering.


“With my blog, I’ve learned how to share things with people that are close to me,” including her sister and her 14-year-old daughter and 20-year-old son, she said. But of the 6,271 comments she has received over the years, most are from complete strangers who found her online. “Sometimes it’s easier to write about it to 1,000 strangers than to sit face to face with someone you know well.” —Yuki NoguchiCyber-Catharsis: Bloggers Use Web Sites as Therapy (Washinigton Post (will expire))

I was happy to find a brief reference to Matt Kirschenbaum in this article.