Friday, April 21, 2006
Blogs of Children and TeensBlogs a danger to students. The adult place in this--and I mean non-parent, non-supervisory adults--is a potential minefield. When I first began campus ministry, it was impressed on me the special need for maintaining appropriate boundaries with students, especially undergraduates. In previous positions, I had dated parishioners on occasion, but I knew instinctively that even though many of the undergraduates were "adults" in a legal or intellectual sense or attractive in an adult way, there was a very important boundary to be set. A few times I've visited blogs done by minors--most of them linked on parents' sites. I never comment, and I've never revisited. The level of personal sharing that goes on in blogs (and I don't just mean the trash-talking) strikes me as a factor that makes it very inappropriate for adult-minor contact across blog lines. Maybe I'm just being hyper-sensitive; you tell me. If my daughter wanted to begin a blog, I would allow it under strict conditions. I would not permit comment boxes. I'd monitor it carefully. And I'd suggest she discourage adult visitors. I'm interested in feedback from others on this point. Does your child have a blog? How do you supervise it? Perhaps you are a teen or young adult yourself and you have some thoughts on interaction with adults. Am I being too sensitive or fastidious? What are proper boundaries for this medium?