Do blogs matter? In a word: yes.
Look at other social media sites, such as Facebook & MySpace. I realize these sites are not true blogs, but their concept is similar to blogs: tell the world what’s on your mind. For example, Tyler Clementi committed suicide as a result of his college roommate uploading Clementi’s sexual encounter and later tweeting about it. Phoebe Prince also committed suicide in January 2010 because of intense cyberbullying.
The Cyberbullying Research Center recently published a study that reveals some frightening facts. Thirty percent of middle school students surveyed stated that had been a victim of some form of cyberbullying within the last 30 days. Twenty two percent of middle school students reported that they participated in some form of cyberbullying within the same time frame. The Clementi & Prince cases should leave little doubt that blogs do matter.
If teenage angst is not your thing, look at the case of Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell. He created a blog entitled the Chris Armstrong Watch. The blog is supposedly a site for people who oppose the election of Armstrong (who is openly gay) as student body president of the University of Michigan. Yet the content of the site is nothing but prejudicial & racist rhetoric. Shirvell’s career with the AG’s office is now in question.
On a more personal note, I lost one of my closest friends because of a blog. I ranted that he and his family didn’t have a concept of money, but yet they chastised me for being unemployed and having difficulty paying my bills. While I didn’t threaten anyone, I guess I did say some hurtful things. This was a case of me not thinking before I did something, and now I am paying the price.
My friend and I no longer speak to each other. Since I don’t have many friends in this area, I miss having someone to talk to and spend time with. I miss having someone to share a beer with. If blogs don’t matter, then I would still have my best friend.