Cave Drawings • 9 June 2008

Scientific American just reviewed the research on how expressive writing is good for the body. Blogging: It's Good For You

It’s unfortunate that the verb for writing on the internet is to blog, and that the gerund is the even stupider and even more trivial blogging. Maybe if it weren’t such a stupid word, it would be easier to accept this activity as a basic modern form of self-expression and being.

Writer is noble; diarist is a contemplative vocation; blogger…? I don’t know if we’ll ever get around the fact that blog sounds like an uncouth airbubble that escapes from the body at just the wrong time—a kind of burp through the fingertips.

Blog, n. (new standard English) that which is spontaneously expelled from the body and into the internets

Every new medium of expression goes through this, though… I bet the early cave-painters were regarded by their tribes as writing down things that just didn’t need to be seen. What’re you doing man? We got arrows to sharpen and berries to gather. Stop drawing pictures of us. You know we look better than that.

From the article… 

-Expressive writing “improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and… even speeds healing after surgery.”

-“‘You know that drives are involved [in blogging] because a lot of people do it compulsively….’ Also, blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to stimulants like music, running and looking at art.”

-“Pennebaker is continuing to investigate the link between expressive writing and biological changes, such as improved sleep, that are integral to health. ‘I think the sleep angle is one of the more promising ones.’”