Saturday, April 02, 2005


TEENS + Self Expression = Blogs

Teen blogs offer insight into feelings about life Self-expression can range from happy to sad to alarming By Kate Shatzkin

Just because blogs are becoming in vogue with some adults, doesn't mean our darling young students haven't already been the pioneers of the blog bandwagon. For years I have been hearing from students..."you have to see what so and so said about me on the computer." They would bring me pages and pages of printed text. I had no idea what they were showing me. I thought it was the IM birth but it wasn't was blogs. Now that I'm reflecting on these diary entries that oftentimes involved some student scandal; I can now put together the pieces and figure out why so many students were privy to the same conflicts. Some conflicts were bullying others were "he say, she say" stuff. They were using blogs and I had no idea. It was kind of like, "their little secret." Now that educators are entering the blogosphere they (we) have to redirect some its uses. I am all for free expression but young people need to be educated as to who their audiences are and repercussions. I am not so sure they see the big picture. It's not just the fact that there are predators online (that's bad enough) but when they put their feelings "out there" they have to know YOU CAN'T TAKE IT BACK. If educators and parents become knowledgeable as to the online world their children are growing up in than blogs will probably serve more as an educational venue and not just an "underground world to share your innermost feelings." Let's take blogs out of the closet so we're all on the same page with our youth.

The above article reports...
"About 87 percent of youths ages 12 to 17 are regularly online, according to a new survey by the Pew project. Teenagers are more likely than adults to start blogs, Lenhart said. At LiveJournal, 47 percent of the 2.7 million users who listed an age are 13 to 18.

Alan E. Kazdin, a psychology professor who directs the Yale University Child Study Center, said blogs may have become popular vehicles of self-expression for the same reasons that some people prefer undergoing therapy via computer: They can have intimate exchanges without being face to face.

"The information might provide a window, so this might be a useful window," he said.

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