These are only a few excerpts of blogs I have posted on Myspace, a website that allows people to message each other, load pictures, customize a page, and post one's thoughts. Any writing that involves updated online personal writing such as diaries, commentaries, recommendations, opinions, or news that interests the writer can be categorized as a blog. My blogs are a mix of personal theories I write to discover others' beliefs and to debate the differences between our beliefs, as well as an online diary. I also have many friends who blog for critiques of their writings and as an online diary. Why has blogging become so popular? Why are people so open online, yet often won't voice their true feelings or writings in person?
The Internet has created a unique situation for the everyday person; it has provided a place where one can voice thoughts, beliefs, and frustrations to the world without burdening specific people and without facing a physical manifestation of confrontation. People can complain without feeling like they are whining to someone who is not really interested in their problems. By writing online, anyone who reads the blogs chooses to do so – they are not forced to listen to the offended person.
This also offers an indirect way to let others know when one is in any heightened emotional state, such as ecstasy, anger, or depression. Instead of speaking face to face, where one has to react to speech instantaneously, there is the safety of a computer screen and an interval of time between the people. This gives time to contemplate responses, and it gives courage. Those who would never have the nerve to express themselves in person often feel safer articulating these emotions to others over the Internet.
They have as long as they would like to send a well thought out response, and there is no threat of someone reading facial expressions or hearing vocal tones, which might allow others unwanted insights. This safety net applies to all emotions: depression, love, anger, and sheer boredom. One can babble on about nothing online, and people will still read it. When one speaks nonsense out loud, they are either ignored or quickly shut up. As a close friend of mine said, although people often say they are "fine" and they "don't want to talk about it" – quite often they do. They do not know how to say it and do not want to burden anyone, but inside, there is often a burning desire to bare his or her pain to the world. So they blog.
This sense of security has not just manifested itself in blogging: it has shown in the increased use of instant messaging, email, comments, and texting. Not so long ago, cell phones had the capabilities to text, but it was much too expensive for most people to use. Now, almost every cell phone plan comes with a certain amount of free texts. Blogging is just like an elaborate text message – it is communication without physical contact. From a teenage perspective, lack of personal contact, yet the ability to voice emotions is the most attractive aspect of blogging
Blogging is also a simple way to keep friends updated on one's upcoming events. Instead of emailing or calling all of one's friends, it is much easier to simply post a blog with dates, times, or simply whatever is new in the blogger's life. One can subscribe to a blog, just like one can subscribe to a magazine. After every post, everyone who has subscribed to that blog is sent some sort of message notifying them a new blog has been written.
Blogging also provides the perfect opportunity to post new ideas, art, or writing. This allows others to read or view the posted items at their own leisure; one can read a post, and then respond after much thought has taken place. It also provides an area for peers to review these creative outbursts. This is the perfect place to receive constructive criticism – friends have the opportunity to compliment, disagree, and suggest alterations to the writer's creation. It is a forum for intellectual collaboration.
Many people use this system for an online diary. A large aspect of this is most likely due to typing's ease. Most teenagers have grown up around technology, making it much easier to type than to actually write things down. Typing allows a person to maintain a constant flow of words similar to a stream of consciousness. Writing words down on paper requires a level of thought that many people find taxing.
Online diaries allow people to effortlessly express important events and feelings in their life, while giving others insights into the writer's life. This is especially important to those who can only connect to friends, due to displacement, through the Internet. Blogging has evolved from the public's need to express itself – yet still have a protective wall. It has evolved from the need to communicate feelings and ideas – at any time of day, month, or year. It has evolved from convenience, but most of all, it has evolved from each person's innate desire to connect with others.