Half of American webloggers cite self-help as their primary motivation for maintaining their online diaries, a survey has discovered.
48.7 per cent of the sample say that blogging "serves as therapy", and it's the most popular reason for publishing an online journal. The second most popular reason, to stay in touch with family and friends, was cited by 40.8 per cent of respondents.
Only 3.3 per cent say they blog to achieve fame or notoriety. And only 7.5 per cent of respondents blogged to "expose political information" - suggesting the pyjamahadeen of 'citizen media' are far outnumbered by the neurotic.
As one would expect, Group-think is well in evidence in the survey. Over a third of bloggers cite peer pressure of one form or another. One in five say they blog to go with the herd, and more than one in eight say they blog because "it's the latest trend".
And we thought happy slapping was the latest trend. We can't keep up!
It's hardly surprising that this most solipsistic and egotistical of communications tools attracts people looking for help. But the survey was conducted in the United States, where therapy doesn't have the social stigma that it does in Europe, and comes as naturally to an American as shooting a road sign. In other cultures, would the results have been different? And would say, Europeans or Asians be as honest as US citizens, who are consistently, and admirably frank on such issues?
The survey was conducted by DMS for AOL this month. More here.®