The concept of keeping a diary as a child is a sacred one. A diary held a girl’s inner-most secrets for no one else but her eyes to peruse. The word diary finds it origin with latin for diarium, meaning daily allowance. This daily ritual of retelling the day’s events is a means of self empowerment.
However, with the arrival of the Internet, the face of journaling has since changed for Generation Y girls. The evolution of keeping a diary has grown with the onset of the Internet. Online journals such as blogger.com, wordpress.com, or livejournal.com, all offer young women an outlet for their inner creative self. Many female bloggers have since made the transition from diary to blog and utilize these journals for a variety of outlets.
Katherine Swan Leppert, a freelance copywriter, maintains several different blogs: one speaking on freelance writing issues, one about her horse, Panama, another on her 1920s-themed wedding, and another to review books she has recently read. Swan did however keep a written dairy from age 10 to age 25. Since her 25 th birthday, she has gone completely digital.
Leppert addresses one distinct difference between keeping a diary and keeping a blog. “I used to write pages and pages — because no one would read it, I felt comfortable rambling and sounding stupid, but it was more therapeutic that way. My blog is more to-the-point, carries more of a theme, and tends to be a little less personal and exploratory.”
According to Blog World Expo, over 120,000 new blogs are created on a daily basis. In terms of posting, nearly 1.4 million blogs are updated daily. With 147 million Americans using the Internet, nearly 57 million or 1/3 of these individuals read blogs. The influence and growing interest regarding the blog is apparent.
The art of blogging includes more short, random entries, rather than long-crafted works. Whether to increase a clientèle, to provide an information base for a niche community or to keep in touch with old friends, weblogs are a powerful and influential tool for young women.
However, somewhere in the growing up process, the intent of writing in a diary changes for those who choose to blog. “Basically, I think I’ve extended what I used to do in my diary as a child. Now, instead of writing to help myself understand and deal, I also write to share so my friends and I can try to understand and deal with the world,” Valerie DeAngelo, recent college graduate says.
“My memory isn’t very good, so I also write to remember everything from the good to the bad, and even life changing events – because somehow I’ll forget otherwise.”
Another blogger feels that blogging allows for self improvement. “Blogs can be more effective because you can get feedback from others,” Glennisha Morgan, writer said. Morgan posts a blog on her website glennishamorgan.com, where she discusses anything from creative endeavors of her friends to current events. Her blog allows her current and potential clientèle as well as her friends to develop a more personal connection with her through her craft of writing.
Ultimately, DeAngelo understands why online blogging has evolved. “A written diary is for the personal release of ideas, memories, thoughts, sometimes to let them out and move on, sometimes to remember things; and typing on a computer is no less helpful,” DeAngelo says. “The physical writing might still be attractive to some people, and in some ways is a known comfort – but perhaps in this age of bad handwriting and problems like (and including) dyslexia, the computer is a better place to keep a diary.”
Through my conversations with women of all ages, I discovered that not every girl uses a diary or blog for the same reason. Swan writes in specific-themed blogs for a variety of audiences, DeAngelo writes in a personal blog for self improvement and to stay in touch with her friends and family, and Morgan maintains a blog on her website for better understanding of who she is and to promote her writing.
The art of journaling and ultimately blogging is one that can potentially change a person. Morgan feels that by blogging, she has gained added self confidence. “I’ll say things in my blog that I may not necessarily say in a random conversation. I don’t regret anything that I say in my blog nor do I censor myself. I feel that my blog is mine. I own it. I can say whatever I feel like,” Morgan says. “Blogging has helped me to become a more confident and frank writer.”
Through this writing process, whether written or online, the process of learning about one’s self is inevitable. DeAngelo states that journaling allows for a sense of self-enlightenment.
“I can share my personal learning with others to encourage them to do the same, or to learn perhaps from my discoveries. Basically, I think a journal, no matter its form, helps free the writer from whatever they choose to write down – people carry around a lot of worries, thoughts, and concerns,” DeAngelo says.
“Writing all the noise in my head down gives me peace, and sometimes I even discover more about myself because I took the time to go through the thoughts instead of just pushing them out of the way.”
Whatever one’s interests, using a blog for personal or professional use can generate self-confidence as well as self realization. When thinking to the future, will the Internet shallow the art of journaling altogether?
The issue of privacy is why Morgan feels written journals will still exist in 25 years. “Not everybody wants to broadcast their feelings to the world via a blog. Sometimes I actually feel the need to just write something on paper because I haven’t done it in so long.”
Leppert feels that blogging is an alternative to the older craft of journaling – “there is still something therapeutic about writing the old-fashioned way. It forces you to slow down and think more about what you are writing about – you can’t handwrite 80 words per minute, and there is no delete key if you decide you don’t like what you wrote!”
Whether to track memories, increase a readership or one’s existing clientèle, a weblog is a powerful self-enlightening tool for every Generation Y girl.