Written By Bradley J. Berger on Sunday, March 24, 2013 | 2:50 PM
St. Louis MO- A new study links internet posting to good mental health and a reduced chance of heart disease. The study lends credence to what many had already assumed about the people they’ve encountered on the Web, as message boards are constantly flooded with insightful commentary, colorful observations, witty jokes and carefully crafted arguments.
The study was conducted over a 12 month period by Doctor Steven Keller, a lead researcher at the Washington University School of Medicine. Keller says that expressing opinions, to faceless strangers, over internet comment boards has enriched the lives of many of his patients who would otherwise be struggling with inferiority and isolation issues.
“We all know issuing a death threat to an internet blogger is actually very therapeutic. Still, this study showed that there were some surprising health benefits as well. Most were able to deal with the stress in their daily lives more effectively than patients who leaned more towards traditional forms of communications like talking.
“What we recommend is simple. If you see something you don’t agree with, don’t be afraid to let it fester until it ruins your day. Then comment frequently and attack viciously. Don’t worry and grammar or legality. If you don’t agree with an opinion, call the guy a foul name and or insult his intelligence. It doesn’t matter if it’s an internet blogger, a stranger on a message board or one of your close friends of Facebook. These can all be natural, healthy ways to express your anger and reduce stress.”
Internet commenting legend Mike Gregg took part in the study. He has been active in the internet commenting community since the early 90’s. He will comment a 1000 times per day on topics including, politics, sports and science. He holds the record most ‘thumbs up’ on a single post. He feels that internet commenting has given him the perfect platform to express his views and share his expertise with others.
“I really do feel like it (internet commenting) has made me a better person. I think of it as an art form and I have spent years honing my craft. Real change comes from these brief snippets we’ve littered the internet landscape with. Without us, people would have never known that Sandy Hook was faked or 911 never really happened,” Gregg said regarding the new media. “There are still idiots out there who believe the holocaust was real or that Hitler really existed. Some real idiots still think that people walked on the moon. These were all obvious manipulations by the government, meant to sway public opinion on domestic social issues. We need to wake people up and tell them what is really going on. Internet commenting is our last hope before they take away the rest of our rights. When people read our well thought out arguments they will no doubt wake up and join our cause.”
Gregg works as an attendant at the local Huck’s and is enrolled in community college in the fall. He concedes that his excessive marijuana use has made it difficult for him to afford books.
Gregg uses the term 'wake up people' frequently in his posts. This is the 5th most used phrase on internet posts. The study found that the most used phase is ‘how is this news?’ closely followed by ‘that’s 5 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.’ A lower case ‘i’ is generally used for dramatic effect. ‘Do your research’ also ranked high on the list but it was found that not many had actually done any actual research outside of reading other people’s posts.
Leading internet blogger Aaron Steele weighed in on the study as well. He was one of the pioneers of internet blogging and regularly receives over a million hits. He writes using over 800 pen names and is responsible for most of the articles written on the internet. He has been studying the trends in internet commenting for the past decade.
“The study really doesn’t surprise me. Market research has shown that readers don’t care about accuracy or quality anymore. This isn’t the 20’s. They just need something to be angry about. Facts are subjective. Being miserable is forever and it makes people feel good,” Steele said. “It really makes them hate me and feel great about themselves.”
Mr. Steele says he continues to write and that stories like Gregg give him inspiration. Steele says he knows what the people want and exactly how to give it to them.
“At times I will try to perpetuate the Liberal media bias. Other times I’ll be openly in favor of the conservative agenda. It doesn’t matter. People will hate it and root for everything to fall apart further, just to prove some ridiculous point or theory. I really feel like I’ve brought people together and changed people’s lives for the better. I usually just take some of the basic facts and make up the rest of the details. I have no connection to anything I write. I even stopped proof reading. That lack if attention to detail really drives up readership and whips people into a crazy frenzy.”
The study has been published in the Milwaukee Journal of Medicine on April 1st and will be available online this Thursday.