*Note: Many people stumble across the post through the search term “teen blogs.” For a list of blogs that I follow authored by teenagers, please check out the post My Dream Class, and scroll down to the end of the article.
I wish blogging had been a “thing” when I was a teenager. Instead, I went to high school during the age of AIM chatting and the beginnings of MySpace profiles. During the early college years my friends and I joined LiveJournal and Xanga, which technically count as blog sites, but we just used them to chronicle our daily activities for each other. Then Mark Zuckerburg invented facebook and we all abandoned our web diaries for the world of social networking. And while all this was going on, I was writing. I wrote all the time as a teenager. I wrote poems, unsent letters, and long, rambling overflows of powerful feeling. I just didn’t show them to people. I wonder if I would have if blogging was the accepted, respected venue for amateur writing that it is today.
I enjoy browsing around WordPress, exploring the work of other writers and deep thinkers, and I especially love it when I find a well-written blog authored by a teenager. Maybe it’s my own introspective nature that appreciates the glimpse into a teenager’s poignant thoughts and emotions. Maybe it’s my career as a high school teacher that’s always pushing me to understand as much as I can about teenagers. Maybe I see that part of myself in the teen blogs I read. Maybe it’s because I know I would have kept a blog in high school if a site like this had existed back then. Whatever it is, I’m drawn to blogs written by teenagers.
So this is my tribute to them – 6 reasons I think teen bloggers are awesome:
- Teen bloggers prove me wrong when I say that the internet is killing proper grammar. Some of these kids can write.
- Teen bloggers are incredibly self-aware. They understand their inner workings, their social status, and emotional well-being very well — much better than I did at their age.
- Teen bloggers are refreshingly honest. They admit their flaws, claim their successes, and don’t sugar coat life for the sake of looking good.
- Teens who blog don’t shy away from being themselves. They will admit that they do worry about what other people think sometimes, but they have enough guts to not let that stop them from living life as they want.
- Teen bloggers find ways to put the immediacy and emotion of the teen years into beautifully unique words. While I generally don’t like the way teen angst is portrayed on television, there is something powerful about the raw emotion of a real teenager put down in print. We were all there once, fellow adults. That emotion is real, and it matters. They’ll never show it to us in the classrooms or at the dinner table, but they’ll write about it in a blog and remind us of what it’s like to be them. That shouldn’t be ignored.
- Teens bloggers often show wisdom beyond their years. Many teen bloggers call their own cultural norms into question, bemoaning the social classes of high school or criticizing their peers for making poor life choices. In essence, teens who blog are generally smart — not just book-smart, but life-smart.
So to all the teen bloggers – thank you. Thank you for opening up a piece of your world for us and letting us see what it’s like to be you. Thank you for reminding us of what it’s like to be young. Thank you for proving to the world that there are intelligent, articulate teenagers out there, that we can (and should) listen to what you have to say. Thank you for your vulnerability, pride, humor, honesty, and courage.
I’m always looking for more to read, so if you are a teen blogger, or if you know of an excellent teen blog that I should check out, send me a link!