It was estimated that in January 2017 there were more than 1.8 billion websites. And as most of us know already, a website can be a personal, commercial, governmental website, or a non-profit organisation. Websites are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, ranging from entertainment and social networking, to providing news and education – or even mental health and wellbeing.
Blogs are essentially another form of websites. At its core, as explained by Blog Clue, ‘a “blog” has a very simple definition: a website that online authors and publishers (these can be both companies or private users) use as an online journal.’
It is generally recognised that blogging started in 1994, with Links.net considered to be the first ever blog. Blogging has come a long way, from being interactive, online forms of the traditional personal diary to becoming repository of valuable information. What makes blogging even more remarkable is that it is democratic: anyone can start their own. As a result, blogs have now become ubiquitous, so much so that there are blogs on every conceivable topic.
With the increasing popularity of blogs, it makes sense that they should be adapted in order to change the way people think and act about mental health. The good news is that across the world, people use blogs as a platform to share experiences, increase awareness and understanding, and provide comfort and support. And not only that, mental health blogs are now being given recognition similar to that of mainstream blogging niche.
In this modern age, a great way to raise awareness about mental health is through the use of blogs, written by inspirational people with powerful lived-experience stories. Indeed, blogs have the ability to show that people with mental health problems are cared about, understood and listened to. For this reason, Psychreg offers a platform for people afflicted with mental health issues to share their stories.
Needless to say, blogging is not just simply writing a blogpost and getting to grips with WordPress; there is a psychology behind it. An emerging subfield in psychology that focuses on the application of psychological principles and research in order to optimise the benefits that readers can derive from consuming blogs is known as blog psychology. A recently published article in the Psychreg Journal of Psychology explored the theoretical underpinnings of blog psychology such as readers’ perception, cognition, and humanistic components in regards to their experience of reading blogs.
Although blog psychology is still in its infancy, there is definitely a huge potential to it towards contributing to the discipline of psychology. Indeed, with the continued popularity of blogs, it is crucial that a specialised discipline be developed to encompass all forms of internet-mediated communication, specifically in blogs, such as the use, design, and its impact on mental health and well-being of its readers.
Potential theories of blog psychology may include the readers’ perception, cognition, and humanistic components in regards to their experience to consuming blogs. Blog psychologists may also draw upon developmental and narrative psychologies and emerging findings from cyberpsychology. The theories and research in psychology could be used as the backbone of blog psychology and guide the discipline itself.
Conversations about mental health and wellbeing play a vital role in helping people feel better about themselves. Blogging gives people a chance to create these conversations. It allows people to feel more connected to the world outside their home through the internet. This is the very reason the world needs dedicated mental health bloggers and writers who talk about relevant mental health and wellbeing issues. They help us think progressively, and in essence, help us build a world where everyone takes mental health seriously and don't discriminate against those with mental illness.