Little is known about the value and emotional consequences of expressing anger on the Internet. Rant-sites provide an outlet for anonymous, angry outbursts. How people feel after reading and writing rants and the effects of this behavior is explored in an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, (http://www.liebertpub.com/cyber) a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers (http://www.liebertpub.com). The article is available online on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking (http://www.liebertpub.com/cyber) website.
"Anger on the Internet: The Perceived Value of Rant-Sites (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/cyber.2012.0130)," by Ryan Martin, PhD, and coauthors, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, presents the results of two studies. One study assessed whether individuals felt calmer or angrier after ranting on an Internet site, and whether people who frequent rant-sites are more likely to have problems related to anger. The second study evaluated how people reacted emotionally to reading and writing rants online—whether they became more or less happy or angry.
“The two studies seem to indicate that both reading and writing on rant-sites tend to be unhealthy practices, suggesting persons with maladaptive expression styles,” says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA. “It will be interesting to explore in future studies if this finding extends to other social networking sites as well.”