Sometimes I wonder what a blogger is and how people ever got that title and it wasn’t until I read Danah Boyd’s article that I really thought about it.
Boyd talked about how the things that she had blogged about when she first started writing changed as she got older. When she was younger she wrote for herself, instead of writing with consideration of who was going to read it. In the article, Boyd wrote:
I was blogging to think, to process, to understand. To understand myself and the world around me.
I can relate to her change in blog topics or posts in general. When I was younger I would write about anything that I pleased to without really thinking about what might come of it and that other people could view it. Now that I am older and have had more practice with using the internet, I limit how much I post on my social media and what I post on my media. When I was younger I would post stupid and random things, like song lyrics, and now I post about my successes and important memories that I want to share with my friends and family.
In addition of blogging for her own enjoyment, Boyd also talked about how writing online can make people vulnerable. She talked about how when she was speaking at a public event that people were critiquing her on social media and how since she was in the public light that she was being judged by everything that she did. She also described how younger people are running into this same problem.
Over the last 30 years, we’ve systematically eliminated young people’s ability to participate in public life. They turn to technology as a relief valve, as an opportunity to have a space of their own. As a chance to be public. And, of course, we shoo them away from there too.
Boyd brought up a great point, reminding us all that most kids use some sort of online platform as a way to escape from their hectic lives and to have a ‘public’ online presence. Personally, I’m not sure if it is a good thing for young people to depend so much on technology, but I see why they find comfort in technology. It seems easier to them. I know when I was younger I was always so attached to my phone or computer and I thought that those were some of the most important items that I could have where I would have a voice to say what was on my mind. I know now that it’s not important, because I’ve seen how obsessed others are with social media and technology. I do like the fact that these individuals have an easier way to express themselves, but I also think that distancing oneself from social media every once in awhile to socialize in person.
People post online for many different reasons. To inspire. To learn. To be heard.
I write to express myself. Why do you blog?