Ranting on the Internet is bad for your health. A new study has shown that expressing anger online in the form of rants causes us to be even angrier. The researcher proves wrong all those who think that they are finding an effective outlet for their negative feelings.
Is it really good to vent one’s anger online as opposed to keeping the feelings bottled up? The new research belies the misconception that one should just get the feelings off one’s chest.
“Just because something makes you feel better doesn’t mean it’s healthy,” said Brad Bushman, a professor of psychology and communication from the Ohio State University.
According to Bushman, venting online actually makes things worse.
Bushman has examined the intricacies of the human emotion by evaluating the way his students deal with anger. Back in 2002, he asked 600 students to write an essay on abortion as part of his experimenting. He, thereafter, gave them unjustified scathing feedback, which, as expected, made the students angry. Having thus achieved his aim, he asked them to deal with it in a number of ways: as a result, some hit a punching bag while keeping in mind the person who marked the essay, while others hit the punching bag with the intention of getting in shape, and yet another group sat quietly and basically did nothing.
It was then found that the group that expressed their anger onto the punching bag felt angrier and more hostile as well as irritated, while the third group were the least aggressive.
Another study done in 2007 says that letting anger takes over one “directly challenges the integrity of mental health practice and places the public at risk”.
Now, why is venting online so bad? Bushman explained that when you do so online, you do not have the time to cool down, as you would if you were ranting personally to friends. When there is no direct immediate response, the person gets to give free rein to his anger. He does not have to wait for the other person to be free to rant, for instance.