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A Brief Exploration of Youth Blogging

December 14, 2009

One of GOTR Atlanta’s ideas when we were brainstorming about the Why We Run blog was to feature one or more GOTR participants as guest bloggers. After all, the organization is ultimately about the girls, even though it clearly enriches the lives of everyone involved, from parents, coaches, volunteers, and so on.

We ultimately decided to put that idea on hold for a few reasons, one of which was a concern about encouraging youth blogging. First, would they be interested? And, would parents approve? Were  privacy or security issues involved? Is blogging a healthy practice for youth?

We’ve since found a bit more information to shed some light on a few of these questions.

1. The interest is clearly there. Youth blogs and social networking has mushroomed over the past several years.

2. Dr. Erik Fisher wrote a blog post on the ups and downs of teen blogging. In it he says that blogging can encourage and improve writing skills and help youth productively assert their independence.

3. A Pew Internet and American Life Project survey found that blogging is helping many teens become more prolific writers.

“Forty-seven percent of teen bloggers write outside of school for personal reasons several times a week or more, compared with 33 percent of teens without blogs. Sixty-five percent of teen bloggers believe that writing is essential to later success in life; 53 percent of non-bloggers say the same thing.”

4.  A study by the National Literacy Trust found that children who make regular use of social networking tools like blogging are more likely to feel confident and happy about their written communication.

5. A few scholarly studies (see Social Education, Child Abuse & Neglect) have explored the potential dangers of youth bloggin, including risk of sexual solicitation, identity theft,  and other forms of harassment. This is clearly an issue. If GOTR were to ever feature guest youth bloggers, we’d very likely keep them anonymous to avoid any risks.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2009 10:38 am

    Thanks for including my article in your blog. I appreciate your attention and thought to this issue. Keep up the good work. Blogging and Social Media are such important topics for parents to discuss and be a part of with their children.
    Dr. Erik Fisher, aka Dr. E…

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