In the recent edition of Ambassador Youth, a publication of the Restored Church of God, writer Kevin Denee took on the blogosphere, coming to the conclusion that â€œNO ONE–including adults–should have a blog or personal website (unless it is for legitimate business purposes).â€ Denee took on cyberstalking and inappropriate content on social networking sites such as MySpace, making a strong argument against its use. He also look at the emotional immaturity shown on many blogs.
â€œMost blogs, especially by teenagers,â€ said Denee, â€œserve as nothing more than public diariesâ€¦Certainly, professional weblogs can make a positive difference within some elements of society. However, teen blogging does not.â€
Denee also looked at the â€œopennessâ€ of blogs and lack of privacy. â€œPeople will now do and say things that should only be done in privateâ€”or, frankly, should not be said or done at all.â€ A quick surf through MySpace or even Xanga quickly reveals a shocking level of â€œdirtâ€ that would never be exposed in daylight.
â€œPropriety, decorum and decency are not elements considered on blogs. People simply blurt things out, without considering the contents or consequences.â€
Kevin Denee continues his evaluation of blogs by taking on a tough pill to swallow for bloggers around the world, whether they are social network addicts or even professionals: vanity.
â€œIf you post mundane details of your life, you are in effect saying that your life is important and that people should read about it,â€ he exhorts. â€œAlso, whether or not you admit it, having a blog with your name, your picture and your opinions strokes the human egoâ€”it lifts you up. It essentially advertises the self! Many teenagers say, â€œListen to me, world, and what I have to say,â€ when they should be focused on changing and cleaning up their lives.â€
In a close correlation, he took on the sin of idle words found on many blogs. He lists issues such as â€œblathering on blogsâ€”mindless words and idle communication,â€ foul language, as well as the filthy quizzes found on most sites, namely MySpace. â€œThe contents of blogs can often best be described as â€œtrashyâ€ and express shallowness,â€ concludes Renee. â€œWhat is deemed as a higher level of communication is simply a mindless form of entertainment.
Another aspect that Kevin Denee attacks, or rather points out, is the issue of boredom. â€œTeens spend hours on these blogs searching, reading about other people and writing their own thoughtsâ€¦Boredom in action.â€
A large part of this evaluation was spent on the â€œappearance of evil.â€
â€œâ€¦Sometimes questionable photos are posted. People can easily draw conclusions about a person by his photosâ€”whether they are right conclusions or wrong ones. For example, what would you conclude if you saw multiple pictures of a person holding up a beer bottle? You might assume he is someone who spends a lot of time partying. It doesnâ€™t matter whether the person is of drinking age and that they had only one drinkâ€”there is no way to know the context when only looking at a series of pictures.
Another element is that inappropriate advertisements can show up on oneâ€™s webpage. An example would be â€œAre YOU a good flirt?â€, with hearts dancing around the ad. While most Internet users would know that you canâ€™t control the showing of certain ads, others would not know this and would assume you are responsible.
Blogs can easily link to each other. This social network allows people to become â€œfriendsâ€ fairly easily with another blogger. As soon as this happens, the person is viewed as a friend by anyone who visits the blog. Whether or not the person is a friend, the appearance of evil is glaring in such situations. Young people in the world are far different then those in the Church of God. The things most will say and doâ€”even on someone elseâ€™s blogâ€”will make one blush.
This â€œfriendsâ€ problem goes further than just appearances. Just as in person, such people will pull you toward the world and its temptations. This is just another reason blogs are unnecessary for Godâ€™s youth.â€
In a sudden change of events, and probably because of a large backlash, the writer wisely changed his statement that â€œâ€œNO ONE–including adults–should have a blog or personal website (unless it is for legitimate business purposes)â€ to â€œRCG youth, and even adults, should not personally blog or maintain the type of personal websites described above.â€ Most readers by this point understand that the writer is speaking of a normal teen blog found on MySpace, Xanga, and even Blogger. Originally, the mistake was made when social networking sites and â€œblogsâ€ were lumped together into one whole without considering the major differences found between the two.
Kevin Denee did a wonderful job in exposing the dangers found within these social networking sites, and comes to the right conclusion â€“ it is a bad idea to have one for all the reasons he describes in great detail. And it is obvious that many have taken this article in the wrong light, especially in its original form. So, in conclusion, we as bloggers and readers must take this in its proper light, expressing gratitude to this writer for his wise words of exhortation and taking to heart the issue of social networking sites which cannot be ignored and must be addressed head on.
Edit: Notice I said “social networking sites” when I mention he came to the right conclusion. Not blogs. Just making that ultra-clear.