The Truth About Kids & Blogs
Friday, July 27, 2012
Planet Tad, a new kids’ book by Daily Show head writer Tim Carvell, is about a 12-year-old who starts a blog in hopes of attracting the attention of Natalie Portman. He struggles with middle school, his little sister, standard preteen fare. But Henry Alford wanted to find out how well it stacked up to reality.
If blog posts are a kind of psychological Polaroid, then it makes sense that when we look at kids’ blog posts, we see a lot of personalities being forged and altered, being tried on and discarded. Lola Owett, 9, describes her blogging self as “more like the girl who says whatever she wants and doesn’t check it with her parents.”
“I blog because I’m so incredibly bored,” says Alex Casimir, 13. “Sometimes you just feel like getting something out. Blogging is the best exercise and it helps you become a better writer.” And it allows him to express another side of himself. “I think when you’re behind a keyboard at home, [you feel] much more comfortable with saying whatever you’re saying online rather than in real life.”
As for Planet Tad, our experts say it’s written more like a series of Facebook updates than a blog (who says kids don’t know their literary genres). “It’s a lot of Here’s My Opinion,” notes Gil Dominguez-Letelier, 9. “But I’m not in middle school yet so maybe I’ll do a lot of Here’s My Opinion [too].”