In the UK we love to blog, but we’re also (horribly) aware that for the majority of time no one’s bothering to read our daily out-pouring on what ever subject’s close to our heart. Does it matter that on one cares? Is a blog just the modern day equivalent of “Dear Diary”? It would seem that in the US it’s not just enough to express yourself any-more you need an audience to cheer you on.
The Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Centre found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now only 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs. Kids who used to blog gave various reasons for why they’ve stopped including lack of time, lack of inspiration and lack of readership. But crucially, they also said that they’ve got no need to blog now that all of their friends are on Facebook.
But is it the case that we’re losing our creativity or that we’re just changing the way we publish our inner most thoughts? You could make the argument both ways. We could say that Twitter is restrictive at only 140 characters and that Facebook’s breeding a generation of kids with little to no attention span who’s only ability to critique what they read is to “like” it.
On the other side of the argument Twitter, Facebook et al are giving teenagers the tools to discover their own voice, to pontificate on the issues that are important to them and share these thoughts with their friends and families.
Lee Rainie, director of the Internet and American Life Project, says that blogging is not so much dying as moving with the times.
“The act of telling your story and sharing part of your life with somebody is alive and well — even more so than at the dawn of blogging,” Mr. Rainie said. “It’s just morphing onto other platforms.”
This change in behaviour can be seen in the traffic and users on the established blogging platforms. Blogger, (owned by Google) saw a 2% year on year decline in traffic in the US alone.
So, here are The Levels what do we think? We’ll, we could get all high and mighty and say that Facebook killed the blogging star that we’re turning into a society that can’t construct a diary entry let alone an essay or god forbid a novel. But, we actually think that teens are the lucky ones. They can speak to the masses via their Twitter account, share their passions, their disappointments and their joys and most importantly find their voice.
Read the full report at http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Generations-2010.aspx