After watching Micheal Wesch’s video on Youtube, I was thinking about how vlogging for those students has been posing the same problems as blogging for me. I have found myself finding it hard to find things to talk about, because I am writing to ‘no one’. Although I know that someone will read this, I don’t know who it is, or anything about them! I know that it is supposed to be for me, and that this is a way for me to work through some of my own thoughts, and that I shouldn’t be worrying about anyone else. I just can’t help but wonder what people will think of me based on what I write, and how I write. I don’t want people to gain a false perception of me, but how can I avoid that? If I am having this many difficulties with blogging, how could I ever effectively teach my students the use of blogging?
Not only is this difficult, but, as I mentioned before, I am struggling with some self esteem issues. I have never really considered myself a person who cares what others think of me, but in the face of this new form of conversation and self expression, I find myself struggling with the desire to express myself in a way that others will appreciate me for me. When you have a face to face conversation, people can read your body language, your tone of voice, and you can tell if they have taken offense to something you have said. However, with blogging you can not do any of those things. You can not see me, you can not hear my tone of voice, nor can I tell if you are offended or upset with me. This is what worries me. I want people to understand that sometimes I have strong opinions, but it doesn’t mean that I will push them on anyone else, or try and force them to agree with me, but how do I make that more than just words in a blog?
Even as I write this, I can’t help but think of only one thing; comments. Comments become the essential aspect of blogs. Without comments there would be no way to support someone, clarify a misunderstanding, or disagree with someone. Yet, as essential as I believe comments to be, I also think that many people misuse them. On Youtube or Facebook, or even a couple of normal blogs that I have read, people leave some disgusting comments. It seems that with some people comments act as a way for people to say terrible things that they would never say in person, without worry of how it will affect their personality or reflect on their character. Yet as I look on other blogs and Social networking sites, I see that people who have had more experience with the internet, and with Social Networking seem to be acting on an unspoken set of standards.
Despite my initial reactions, I feel as though blogging could be helpful for students. However, before I would ever teach my students to blog, and to use this tool effectively, I would need to feel comfortable myself. I am going to attempt to keep going, I want to make this a worthwhile experience, but I need all the help I can get.
If anyone has any thoughts, or tips, I would to hear them!