Benefits of Blogging for Students
Better distress coping skills, trust in others, socially integrated, and satisfaction in friendships.
Better distress coping skills - Benefits of blogging for students
There is not a single negative outcome when asked if keeping a daily diary betters the writer or worsens their life. A natural for young females, diaries have been around for centuries.
The early attempts at metacognitive processing start with thinking about one's life at a young age. Reflecting on the past events as they unfolded. Creating imaginary "what-if" branches to the decision-making process. Even practicing in choosing all possible alternative options related to a past or upcoming event reduces current distress associated with mistaken judgments.
"Why did say that to my best friend? She only was trying to help me out. Tomorrow I am going to apologize to her for my temper. Hopefully, our friendship can be restored."
In many instances, bloggers create their blogging account as an anonymous writer, at first. This anonymity encourages the teenage writer to express emotions not normally displayed in face-to-face encounters. While he is articulating his perceived feelings, he is also trying these emotions on, so to speak, like a hat or coat, sensing if the emotion being explored is accurate or not. The blogging platform and the use of written expression is a safe domain where explorations into ones self is possible. And then making emotional connections to vocabulary in distressed moments. For a young teenager, gaining an understanding the emotional differences between disappointment and frustration allows him to better cope with his thoughts and impulsive reactions. He discovers that not all unpleasant feelings require an angry response.
Learning to trust in others - Benefits of blogging for students
For many adults, it was during their teenage years that the callousness of distrust was developed. Cloistered in their limited environments and repeatedly insulted, disregarded, silenced, and worse, serial-bullied over the years, teenagers learn quickly to protect their feelings from obvious public view and scrutiny.
Yet when these same emotionally calloused teenagers began to articulate their interests, their passions, their hobbies, their thoughts, their feelings, their ideas, their personal beliefs through blogging, their geographical boundaries become all of humanity, rather than their immediate city block, or small town neighborhood.
Experiencing the full-spectrum of emotions in life takes not only time to develop correctly, it requires a safe place where a teen can go to anytime, anyplace, anywhere, and feel heard.
Even with listeners who disagree with you, consistently in a blog, a sense of trust is developed. Learning that opinionated disagreements and factual interpretations can be passionately discussed without personal insults and threats is trusting in the other to be disagreeable. It becomes expected, yet not feared, because a level of trust is earned.
Experiencing social integration - Benefits of blogging for students
Healthy, functioning, democracies require a population that is socially integrated. Yet increasingly gated communities and segregated schools are eroding the democratic principles our country was founded upon.
Even with the ubiquitous nature of the Internet and increasingly Wi-Fi and broadband Internet connections, that seemingly would encourage social integration are in fact allowing self-imposed isolation of boutique-styled news media outlets. Funneling only news that caters to ones particular views, reinforcing their self-narrative, is causing social tremors in the U.S.
Yet blogging has the opposite effect. Posted blogs, and the subsequent comments that might follow, disregard these previously mentioned social walls. Anyone, with reason, can post and comment on any blogging topic.
The ability for a teenager to scale their ideas, using the Internet as the vehicle, allows for other opinions not associated with the blogger's intent. At times the comments are surprising for the teen blogger, causing intellectual discomfort in the form of disagreed opinions, misconstrued facts, and the personal views of others. This exploration of "others" creates the social integration required for a healthy, well-balanced life. The skills needed to socially navigate through an integrated society are practiced while blogging.
The by-product is tolerance of "those others".
Satisfaction in friendships - Benefits of blogging for students
"Blogging allows people to form friendships based on common interests and beliefs and allow regular communication irrespective of location. Doesn’t everyone feel better after having a conversation with that one friend who ‘‘really gets you,’’ so what if that friend is on the other side of the country (or even the world) and the means of communication is electronic." An Opportunistic Validation of Studies on the Psychosocial Benefits of Blogging
Well stated. In fact studies have repeatedly shown that relationships forged from virtual platforms, such as virtual worlds, micro blogging, and blogging, are able to create a sense-of-presence for participants. Creating a presence, a sense that the other is nearby and communicating, is important is creating relationship. This ingredient to relationship is communicated effectively through technology, if not better than, face-to-face communications.
Finally, for those still in disbelief that the benefits of blogging for students has the potential to forge lasting and meaningful relationships, recall the power of pen pals throughout history and the exchange of letters, U.S. Mail, between adults: Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Groucho Marx and T.S. Eliot, Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley, Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini.
Safety issues - Benefits of blogging for students
While the benefits of blogging for students are many, and recommended that parents consider this social outlet for a teen, there are important safety considerations to build into any blogging route.
While you would not allow teenage son or daughter walk the streets at night without the proper precautions and supervision, so too for the Internet. For all teenagers under the age of 18-years, I would highly recommend that NO real names, real address, real telephones are posted - NO MATTER WHAT. It is a simple rule for your teen to follow, yet hard sometimes.
When both of you write the rules-for-engagement concerning a blog (checkout iRules: What Every Tech-Healthy Family Needs to Know about Selfies, Sexting, Gaming, and Growing up), make sure that you and your teen-blogger understand that nothing published on the blog is private. Not private to you, nor anyone else in the entire world. And make it point to read the blog postings often.
By far, I would recommend WordPress.org. It is completely customizable, scalable, huge community support, tons of plugins and themes for a teen's creative expressions.
Photo credit: Karina Dreamer Source: Flickr.com
An Opportunistic Validation of Studies on the Psychosocial Benefits of Blogging - James R. Baker, M.Psych., and Susan M. Moore, Ph.D.; CyberPsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, Vol 14, No. 6, 2011