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Activity goal- examine teen blogs as primary source of info. Everyday life and experiences of adolescents in 2008. Essay

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After Reading the article – Huffaker, D. & Calvert, S. (2005). Gender, Identity, and Language use in teenage blogs published in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10(2). 1-27. we can easily conclude the following from this article and which is also our hypothesis for this paper.

Disclosure of personal information

Teen bloggers’ have been found revealing personally identifying information, including their names and their sexual orientation at a lot of blog spaces (Huffaker ; Calvert, 2005).

Emotive features

Teens both females and males frequently use emoticons in their blog posts and there is no truth that female bloggers use more emoticons than males .it is contradictory to the previous studies that males do not use emoticons as much as females and it could be because of the continues growth of internet generation and their continuously evolving behavior (Huffaker ; Calvert, 2005).

Sexual identity

Almost half of all bloggers have been found in discussing their sexual identity and love relationships. Which is typical of the teen’s usual discussion in real life. There is a certain amount of teens who have been talking about their own homosexual identity but this has greater number of males than females. This suggests that male bloggers may be using blogs as a safe and comfortable environment to be honest or even candid, about their sexual identity and feelings (Huffaker ; Calvert, 2005).

Active, resolute, and passive language use.

The authors have found that males use language that is more confident , more aggressive, and less concerned with politeness and it is also quite similar to the females, who were expected to be  more passive, cooperative, or use accommodating language and be polite, appreciative, and cooperative as found in previous studies(Huffaker ; Calvert, 2005).

Available demographic info. From each six authors: age, gender, school, ethnicity and ant other.

I visited three websites Freeopendiary.com, livejournal.com and Diaryland.com and read the blogs of 6 individuals, 3 male and 3 females with 2 from each of these. The results are summarized below.

Age
Gender
School
Ethnicity
Interests/ employment/relationship
Blogger 1
jadedvigor.livejournal.com/
No
Yes(F)
Yes
Yes
yes
Blogger 2
jsberry03888.livejournal.com/
Yes
Yes(M)
Yes
Yes
yes
Blogger 3
http://www.opendiary.com/entrylist.asp?authorcode=D654725
Yes
Yes(M)
Yes
Yes
yes
Blogger 4
http://www.opendiary.com/entrylist.asp?authorcode=A854006
Yes
Yes(F)
Yes
Yes
yes
Blogger 5

Yes
Yes(M)
Yes
No
No
Blogger 6
http://members.diaryland.com/edit/view.phtml?user=punklola
No
Yes (F)
Yes
No
Yes

Table 1: Summary of all 6 BLOGS ENTRY (Banks, 2007).

a. Media Context: why do teens blog? What are the appeals and drawbacks for the reader and the author? Are blogs a trend/fad or will they stand the test of time? How do blogs factor teen media use and computer use? Why do teens choose to blog and other do not? What implications for teens safety on the net? Does it impact peer social relationship, interactions and social group/networks?

Teens blog to express themselves and share ideas and thoughts with their friends in particular. It is a good source to gather day to day thoughts which could be read over the time by the blogger to analyze their own thoughts. Blogging is a potential threat as sex offenders or anybody with wrong intentions might look up the information these teens post and use for an adverse reason. The ones who blog are usually those who are unable to express themselves completely in the real time and find it easy to say what they have in their minds. Blogging definitely influences social relationship; it may or may not enhance the relationship in meaningful ways (Herring, Scheidt, Bonus; Wright, 2004a).

 B. Blog Presentation: What is the veracity of some statements made in the blog- could statements be lying, exploring possible selves and/or presentation a false self?

Yes sometimes the statements made in the blog could be false and misleading but in general the study has found that teen bloggers are not found of making falsified statements.

C. Blog content:

In these blogs it has been found that the bloggers, all teens, have discussed the books they have read in the past, the computer applications they have found very useful, the activities they have been doing watching movies, they have kind of posted the review of the movies also in some of their entries.

Some of them have mentioned about their busy schedule at school and then at work and have also been found talking about happenings at school in particular the classes and activities which are happening there, they have at many times mentioned about future plans and their plans of doing things later in their life which is very typical of teens of this age (Savicki, 1996). I don’t think I was able to find any one of them talking negatively about their parents but I have found them interacting with their parents over the dinner and while dropping in the morning at school. I have found them very often been talking they have very often been talking about extracurricular activities happening outside the school, with friends  over the weekends all the boys and 2 girls have been found talking about their romantic relationship, I have found none who was talking about homosexual stuff. Passing with flying colors is a great concern seems for the girls where as boys haven’t clearly mentioned anything about succeeding at the exams

Blog style and language

I have found all these blogs very open and revealing, each posts differ from each other and shows that the persons haven’t really cared about the way they have posted, they posted whenever they wanted and however, there is no particular following.  I have found slang languages or let’s say the language of internet a lot that is LOL, and other short forms, the emoticons are widely used to express feelings. Slang words are often used. There are some repeatedly used words such as I, FEEL, WORK, TIRED used a lot the teens are found to be very aggressive and against the norms of the society on various issues such as going to school, alcohol usage, driving etc Female bloggers seem to be less confident than males as they have been found using the word maybe, not sure more than the boys expression of hesitation, confusion and self-doubt is more profound in girls than boys. Words for self reference as I. me, my, mine are used so many times that it seems impossible to count (Demopoulos, 2007).

References

Banks, M.A. (2007). Blogging Heroes: Interviews with 30 of the World’s Top Bloggers. Wiley

Demopoulos, T. (2007). Secrets of Successful Blogging. Demopoulos Associates

Herring, S. C., Scheidt, L. A., Bonus, S., & Wright, E. (2004a). Bridging the gap: A genre analysis of weblogs. Proceedings of the 37th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-37). Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE. Retrieved on July 1,2009 from http://csdl.computer.org/comp/proceedings/hicss/2004/2056/04/205640101b.pdf

Huffaker, D. & Calvert, S. (2005). Gender, Identity, and Language use in teenage blogs. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10(2). 1-27.

Huffaker, D. (2004a). The educated blogger: Using weblogs to promote literacy in the classroom. First Monday, 9 (6). Retrieved on July 1 ,2009 from http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue9_6/huffaker/index.html

Savicki, V. (1996). Gender language style and group composition in internet discussion groups. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 2 (3). Retrieved on July 1 ,2009 from http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol2/issue3/savicki.html