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My blog is only for my friends and other misconceptions March 13, 2006

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Thoughts.
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I am a compulsive searchaholic. I don't just search google, but also dogpile, yahoo, msn, blog sites, library sites, google world keyhole entries and open databases. It isn't just a passing phase. Whether it is trying to figure out the markings on an old piece of china or the house value of property in Maui, I am drawn to the unending information found through the world wide web.

One of my compulsive searches is Sarah's name. Some times I add Westerville and other times science olympiad. The way results compile fascinates me. The results which compile fascinate me too. It was through searches on Sarah's name and then searches on other names that led me to world of high school blogging.

Recently, blogging has been in the news. Although students think that only their friends are reading their blog, or at the worst other kids their own age, stories in the news prove otherwise. Just this week, in USA Today, was the story of a senior not admitted to Reed, his college of choice, after admissions counselors read his blog. People are not getting jobs because of what they have published on blogs. Friendships are lost. But worse is the fact that pedophiles lurk on blog sites. This makes my skin crawl. And whether you want to hear it or not, they do; and people whom you least expect to be reading blogs, read them; this includes teachers. Students are under the misconception that adults in their lives will never see the sites. Guess what. I am an adult and I have. Not only that, I know who you are. You have either posted your picture or enough of your name or activities to figure out who you are. Some of you have even posted your phone numbers.

I know of at least two Westerville girls who have described lesbian desires and experiences on their blogs. And guess what girls, not only do I know who you are, but who your parents are. But you are lucky. Unless someone blatently has written something I consider dangerous, like your full name or phone number, your secret is safe with me. But I am not your average adult reader; I keep things private. Sooner or later, however; the information you post on blogs will come back to bite you.

There is value in writing. Teen age years are filled with angst that sometimes bleeds best on paper. When you bleed publicly, however, know that your fears, concerns and experiences are there for everyone to read. And whether you are the girl who says you live in London, but active in Westerville and Central Ohio activities or the college freshman who wrote about skipping class after class living in your boyfriend's room, someone who you don't want reading your blog will read it.

Last night, I found one sophomore's xanga site, because she mentioned Sarah's name, in whole. Will I tell her mother she has a blog, of course not. But did I call her to clear up a misconception about Sarah's death? Absolutely. Writing is healthy. Teen age angst is an inevitable part of growing up. Wanting the boy, wanting the A, complaining about parents, wanting to figure out life.. etc. Just remember, that writing something in the quiet safety of your bedroom can be explosive if in the wrong hands.

Be careful.