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.