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June 29, 2013

Teenhood Today: Blogging lets you express yourself

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The Daily Star

---- — I’m supposed to write about teen issues. For this month I decided to tackle the subject of blogging. 

In case any of you were wondering, I love to blog. I’ve had one for years and years. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’ve been writing in it all these years, I haven’t. In fact, when I started a new blog a few weeks ago I almost deleted my first one, but didn’t have the heart to do so. Now I’m the happy up keeper of two blogs. Hip-hip-hurray! 

I post quite frequently in my newest one. You see, I’m kind of addicted. Obviously, I love the writing and designing aspects of it, but I also love the openness it offers. I can literally write about anything I want to with as many, or as few, words as I want. I think that is what draws a lot of people to blogging. 

I don’t know how many of you have your own blogs, but I highly recommend them. For one thing, your blog can be absolutely anything you want it to be. It can be like an online journal, a public forum for ideas, an update on trips you’re taking, or the life story of your prized tomato. Quite literally anything in your life can be translated into a blog. 

I think it’s worth getting a blog simply to set it up. I love picking out backgrounds and fonts, coming up with a title that I think describes what I’m writing about, and eating the snack that always accompanies this process. I love picking out the “gadgets” to put on the site. Deciding whether I should have a links to other blogs or use a gadget that allows my writing to be translated into other languages. And the most important one: which picture of me I should use. 

For me the hardest thing about a blog is publicity. How can anybody read it if they don’t know about it? I post links on Facebook and email people encouraging them to follow me. For those of you with blogs, you know that following is a key part of the equation. It means that at least some people are reading it. The hope is that they’ll tell other people about how amazing your blog is and then your views will skyrocket. That’s the goal anyway. 

One of the coolest thing about having a blog is being able to see my development, both as a writer and as a person. Looking back at my posts in my first blog it’s pretty obvious I was trying too hard to be funny, the wording was choppy, and I had issues. But I actually get a lot of inspiration for current writing projects from that old blog of mine. As I said, it’s very interesting to read through my old thoughts in my old styles of writing. 

The problem arises when, like anything else on the Internet, blogs are abused. Because it’s so open, things sometimes come out that were never meant to be said, written, or read by other people. In my opinion, blogs are wonderful things, you just have to make sure that whatever you write is OK for everyone to read and not just a select few. With the Internet, your ideas are out there for literally anyone to see. But you’ve probably heard that plenty of times before. 

A lot of websites have free blogging. So, if you’re reading this wishing that you could have a blog, go right ahead and get one. Just think of me as you set it up, that’s my favorite part.

Miriam A. Thurber is a rising junior at Unatego Central School. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/teentalk.