Emily Nussbaum analyzed high school journaling in the NY Times Magazine Sunday. I was expecting a boring and predictable mainstream media perspective on blogging, but her focus on high school students made this a worthwhile read. It provided a revealing view of a world which did not exist when I was agonizing my way through high school relationships.
In her article, My So-called Blog, she addresses the angst and the ecstasy of student blogging.
It seems, from her account, that the student blogs are primarily a means of communicating and perhaps diffusing emotional issues, rather than lists of links or essays.
This is probably because open communication of emotions as well as ideas can be a very positive experience. Certainly it is less harmful than bottling things up inside.
She reported that in this high school, bloggers belonged to different pools of bloggers, some with limited memberships and there were all sorts of unwritten rules/conventions about whose posts one might read or comment on.
Emily observed this about the student blogs: Blogging is a replication of real life: each pool of blogs is its own ecosystem, with only occasional links to other worlds. ... And while there are exceptions, many journal writers exhibit a surprising lack of curiosity about the journals of true strangers. They're too busy writing posts to browse.
She made reference to the positive changes that occur when students interact through these journals. High school blogging appears to develop maturity as well as creativity.
It will be most interesting to see what long range effects appear as these student writers emerge into adult society. They are used to having and creating their own news network, complete with comments.
Mainstream media and news may not interest them at all....