Today's young bloggers often find frank posts about relationships,
college and teen life and even drunken adventures amusing but an MSNBC.com
article says some of these pots may end up coming back to haunt the posters.
Some also speculate that more scandalous blog entries -- especially those
about partying and dating exploits -- will have ramifications down the road.
"I would bet that in the 2016 election, somebody's Facebook entry will come
back to bite them," Steve Jones, head of the communications department at the
University of Illinois at Chicago, says, referring to thefacebook.com, a
networking site for college students and alumni that is something of a cross
between a yearbook and a blog.
More traditional blog sites -- which allow easy creation of a Web site with text, photos and often music -- include Xanga, LiveJournal and MySpace. And they've gotten more popular in recent years, especially among the younger set.
People often change their lifestyles and habits after their teen and college years and may regret having an online diary that details every escapade and every relationship. Blogging may also make it easy to say something that wouldn't normally set to a person in a face-to-face encounter. And for teens
it may allow them to vent frustrations -- which might cause trouble later if adults discover their blogs. The MSNBC.com article cites a Pew study
which found that 79% of teens believe that people their age are not careful
enough when giving information about themselves online.
Caitlin Hoistion, a 15-year-old in Neptune, N.J., says she knows people who go
as far as posting their cell phone numbers on their blogs -- something she doesn't do. She also often shows her postings to her mom, which has helped her mom give her some space and privacy online.
"That's not to say if I thought something dangerous was going on, I wouldn't ever spy on her," says her mother, Melissa Hoistion. "But she has given me no need to do so."