Kylie Robertson first began blogging at 13, about the time she felt some complicated new emotions emerging.
By her mid-teens, she was routinely spilling her feelings online, using her Internet journal as her sounding board. Mostly, she vented about whatever was ticking her off at the time.
“I thought that starting something like a blog could help me — I could go back and read what I was feeling at that time, and it would help me to sort things out,” she says.
Robertson, now 19, isn’t alone. While teens as a whole rule the blogosphere — 28 per cent of Internet-using teenagers blog compared with only eight per cent of adults — girls of all ages dominate, according to a recent survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
The survey suggests about 35 per cent of online teen girls blog, while only 20 per cent of online boys do it. “Virtually all of the growth in teen blogging between 2004 and 2006 is due to the increased activity of girls,” the survey reported.
Such a trend could also signal a tipping point when it comes to the number of women involved in technology, says Maggie Fox, co-founder of Toronto Girl Geek Dinners, which aims to make technology interesting and accessible, especially to younger women.
“When you look at the kinds of things that the United Nations has recommended in the past in terms of closing the gender gap on technology careers and understanding, it’s stuff like using the web to engage and educate and mentor young women on technology use,” she says.
“And that’s exactly what social media — things like blogs, MySpace, Facebook — are letting women do.”