Blogging and Teenagers: Perfect Together!

The blogging movement

Today’s teenagers are the first generation to have grown up using the Internet at every stage of their development, as evidenced by the seemingly innate sense of Web technology usage skills and familiarity possessed by many adolescents when expressing their innermost thoughts and ideas.

It’s true that blogs are created on a daily basis by people of all ages and from all walks of life, but in the case of blogging as a communication vehicle, teen bloggers are truly on the cutting edge of that movement; and while older writers often experience a kind of learning curve when they begin to blog, many young people find that using a word processor and blogging software is a more natural and direct mode of communication than writing in a diary could ever be.

One of the reasons for blogs having undergone kind of an explosive growth in the teen community, and is still expanding by leaps and bounds, is the fact that they provide a unique mixture of visibility and anonymity. A teenager can invite friends and peers to read his or her blog with a simple email, thereby attracting the attention or possibly even praise for the content s/he is creating and sharing.

Communicating through blogs

Of course, with visibility usually comes the possibility of embarrassment, but having the ability to blog anonymously with an invented handle or nickname, negates a lot of the potential for humiliation. In fact, there are many blogging teens who live in fear of their blog being discovered by a parent or guardian; but by publishing under an alias teenagers can spill their fiercely-guarded secrets without fear of being traced.

Outside the world of blogging, teen writers often have very limited opportunities to be published; because magazines and journals are often reluctant to publish young writers who may not have as much credibility as older writers who possess a lot of experience and extensive credits to their names. And this kind of reticence can discourage many adolescents from seeking the opportunity to publish their work, or from writing altogether.

With the advent of blogging as a vehicle, young people can begin to gain a following of readers without first having to obtain the approval and support of an editor or publisher who may not be very interested in teenaged authors; and in view of the fact that blogs provide young people with a chance to demonstrate their impressive technical aptitude, to gain visibility without compromising privacy, and to build a readership for their writing without having to jump through the traditional hoops of a publishing industry which shows little interest in their work, it comes as no surprise so many teenagers blog.

…And the social aspect

For some teenagers, blogging serves as a social endeavor that allows them to meet people with similar interests from all over the world; and a great number of blogging teens have discovered that having a personal blog on the Web is as great a way to explore self-expression and to win positive feedback from new friends as any other medium in existence today.

To Blog Developing News Stories Instantaneously

An active blogosphere

Blogging news stories as they unfold is one of the most exciting and controversial applications of technology that bloggers have discovered. One thing that makes the blogosphere so active is the possibility for a blog to be updated instantaneously, so that the news on blogs tends to be more current than news in a paper or on television.

Unlike news delivered by the other media outlets, news stories that appear on blogs do not have to travel through a series of editors and administrators before it reaches the public eye; and this is one of its big advantages, among many others; but of course there are distinct disadvantages associated with this form of news dissemination also.

Case in point

One of the most notable cases of news hitting a blog before appearing in other media took place in July 2005 when terrorism struck London. As passengers were evacuated from a subway car near an explosion, one man took several photographs of the scene with his cellular phone, and within an hour these images were posted online.

First-person accounts of the catastrophe began appearing on blogs soon after these photos appeared, and people all over the world learned about the events in London by reading the words and seeing photos posted by bloggers.

The fact that these stories and images were being spread directly by individuals operating without the added filter of a reporter helped people across the globe to get information about the crisis more immediate and direct.

Weblog movement seen as democratic

We must view blogging as news that often appears in a very personal context which has the potential to augment the modern era of reporting in a very exciting way, and take “New Journalism” to it’s logical next step; a step which puts the power of shaping how news is written and read directly into the hands of consumers.

Many bloggers and cultural commentators who are champions of the weblog movement view this growing trend of individuals getting their news from blogs as a good thing, because it makes the flow of information more democratic. By decentralizing the control of news, blogs allow more voices to enter the field of debate about important current events.

One glaring deficiency

However, many people are adamantly opposed to the use of blogs as news outlets; and there are plenty of good arguments on this side of the debate as well. Unlike newspapers or television stations, few blogs have fact-checkers, and there is little attention paid to journalistic accountability on many individual blogs.

This can lead to the rapid spread of misinformation and, as such, more than one falsehood has taken the blogosphere by storm. This raises the questions as to whether blogging news as it happens is ethical or not; and it is a very complicated one, but no matter where you stand on the issue of current events blogs, you’ll like to agree that this movement has the potential to revolutionize how modern people get their news.