Thursday, February 21, 2008

Why Girls Blog

I just read this New York Times article based on some recent research conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which found that among Web users (in the U.S.) ages 12 to 17, significantly more girls than boys blog (35% of girls compared with 20% of boys) and create or work on their own Web pages (32% of girls compared with 22% of boys).

Some of the guesses floated for this in the article is that girls are socialised more to tell stories about themselves and others (or have a tendency to be more "confessional" than boys). Where guys do dominate is in posting videos and, according to one of the academics featured in the article, not because they are more skilled at it than girls but because "videos are often less about personal expression and more about impressing others. It’s an ideal way for members of a subculture — skateboarders, snowboarders — to demonstrate their athleticism."

According to another one of the academics interviewed, girls "from a young age ... learn that they are objects ... so they learn how to describe themselves. Historically, girls and women have been expected to be social, communal and skilled in decorative arts."

She continued, that this dominance by girls in creating web content, as a result of their communication skills would be called "the feminization of the Internet." Hmmm well, that certainly makes a change from the perceived masculinity of most other forms of technology.

It's always interesting to read the deductions made from research such as this. Of course, there are always a fair amount of generalisations made - and I guess that have to be made. I loved to write when I was much younger, but I think that my tastes always gravitated more towards the literary. It was less to do with my being a girl and expectations to be able to describe myself (and perhaps more influenced by upbringing). But then, I am one person and so it's difficult to say why other women blog, write or maintain websites.

In our society where oral story-telling is very much a part of the culture, such results perhaps might have been expected. But to really know, someone would have to do some research on online usage trends in Nigeria for us to know for sure.

2 comments:

nneoma said...

"the feminization of the Internet."

i'm all for it...

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