Creating Community in the 21st Century
As our culture changes, not only are our children exposed to things at younger ages but many parents – frequently less comfortable with technology – may also have found themselves without a "community" of people to talk to about decisions and dilemmas presented to us as parents in the 21st century.
One place parents are finding "community," as well as news and information impacting our parenting decisions, is through blogs. The term "blog" comes from "Web log" and is a form of "social media" (i.e. MySpace, Facebook, and Wikipedia). The word "blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Blogs are user-generated Web sites where entries are made, in a style similar to a formal journal or diary entry, and are displayed in reverse chronological order (i.e. most recent posts appear first). Many blogs also include links to other blogs and Internet-based resources that you might find interesting.
Some blogs provide commentary on news about a particular subject – such as adolescent health, politics, education, dieting, medical technology, and sports – while others function more like personal online diaries.
You can subscribe to most blogs so that updates come via email, which makes it very easy to stay in touch with a topic or group of people with whom you share an interest.
A typical blog post includes text, a picture, and links to other related information about the topic. People reading the blog can leave comments about the content with links to other Web-based information about the topic – frequently generating lively conversation.
Below is a list of some of my favorite blogs that I think parents might enjoy – along with a little description about each blog.
An independent blog for teen/youth media and marketing professionals. Parents find it very informative as a link to the reality of tweens, teens, Generation X, and Generation Y.
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Additional Online Resources
Not blogs, but also good online resources for health information include:
- Go Ask Alice!
The health question and answer Internet service produced by Columbia University's Health Promotion Program. It publishes recently asked questions, lets you search for health information by subject and gives you a chance to ask a question.
Created by The Nemours Foundation for Children's Health Media to provide families with accurate, up-to-date and jargon-free health information
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- Stems from the phrase "Web log"
- A form of "social media" (e.g. Facebook)
- User-generated Web sites
- Can also be used as a verb: to maintain or add content to a blog