Message boards - bad for your health?

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by tigerbob, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    I was watching Face the Nation this morning, andf there was a brief segment on a new study in the BMJ that links happiness with health. Specifically, it concludes that "people’s happiness is influenced by, among other things, the happiness of their acquaintances, particularly first degree relatives, close friends, neighbours, and coworkers."

    bmj.com:

    Given that the majority of posts on this message board are the left slinging mud and the right and vice versa, it made me wonder, are people who spend a lot of time on message boards more likely to be unhappy people?

    After all, with the exception of a few threads, the majority of posts seem to be negative in their overall tone. In addition, it is a fairly well established fact that people post things that they would generally not say in a face to face conversation.

    If remote conversation is less likely to be pleasant, and therefore more likely to cause resentment rather than happiness, are message board users typing themselves towards an early grave?
     
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  2. sky dancer
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    Tiger--

    This is an excellent topic for discussion. Here is an article on forum addiction. I think it support your OP premise:
    Effective Online Forum Usage by Steve Pavlina

    We do influence each other. How do we want to be influenced and to influence others? For the positive? Or the negative?
     
  3. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    Interesting article. Fortunately, I only just started posting to this board again after not really visiting at all for 5 months. I'm only posting so much at present because I'm doing a 3 month residential course away from home and, when I'm not studying, I have a lot of spare time on my hands (the apartment I'm renting doesn't have ESPN - bah!).

    I suspect that when my course ends in January my use of this board will largely taper off since I will have more important things to do, but well see.

    Very interesting article. I see pretty much all members described quite clearly (including myself) in one or more of the descriptions.
     
  4. sky dancer
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    Negative thinking is not critical thinking. There is a difference between a healthy questioning mind, and some skepticism with pervasive cynicism which closes the mind to new ideas.
     
  5. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    The arguments get my adenaline going. I find that my mood is elevated after being on message boards. Humans are gregarious by nature, with time being limited these days, message boards are a good, quick way to make connections.

    Most of the conversations I have with real people are so mundane and boring. Message boards are so much better. People under the guise of anonymity, are more assertive -- making for more interesting conversation.

    Did anybody read the Happiness Study? Did it include message boards or just real people?
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2008
  6. sky dancer
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    It all depends on how you use the forum, and how you cultivate relationships in RL, IMO.
     
  7. strollingbones
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  8. sky dancer
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    There is a connection, for sure, strolling bones.
     
  9. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    Nah, it appears to be interpersonal rather than internet relationships. That said, I didn't read the whole thing, only the first para to each section to see if it interested me.

    I could be wrong, but the number of social ties would surely have been larger (approx 50,000) if remote relationships were included. Participants had to self define their relationships and as the study started in the 80s I doubt web connections would have been added as it would have screwed up the methodology and skewed the results.

     
  10. xsited1
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    xsited1 Agent P

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    If a message board makes a person unhappy, they are most likely unhappy to begin with. It's your choice if you want to be unhappy.
     
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