August 9, 2008 at 12:47 AMI received a number of e-mails in response to Think Before You Post, my blog last week about presenting yourself well on the Internet. I was struck by one particular e-mail, and here is an excerpt from it that I feel is important for young people, and their parents, to read:
"(When I was in high school) I felt so disconnected from the music community at large (growing up in a rural community), that it was easy to believe that what I wrote online would never matter in the real world; now, as my professional career is beginning, I bitterly regret the youthful stridency that permitted me to opine so freely and so publicly, not infrequently about people who I now know have read this site."
It's not just Violinist.com, either. People will read your MySpace page; they'll find your Facebook page.
Violinist.com's membership is open to people who are 13 years of age and up. While we don't permit young children to write blogs on the page, we know that a number of people who write are teenagers. We know that teenagers are capable of maturity and awareness; and that's what we'd recommend when you post.
It's not as if all teenagers wake up one day to be horribly embarrassed over their youthful postings. A number of teenagers have parlayed their blog writing on Violinist.com into great things. For example, Caeli Smith started blogging here when she was 13, has done a number of internships with Violinist.com while still a teenager, and is now a roving reporter for From the Top and was featured on the cover of this fall's Teen Strings magazine. You Go Girl!
I've seen some wonderful blogs written and discussions moderated by teenagers:
So put your best self forward; you can have a voice and make a difference as a teenager participating on this site. If you need advice about how (or whether) to write something in your Violinist.com blog or on the discussion board, you know where to find me.
She doesn't post. Facebook or myspace wouldn't work if you couldn't change it anytime you wanted.
Embarrassed by what I wrote in the past? Constantly! Just like those out of tune notes, you accept your responsibility and hope for the future improvement but never stop playing.
also, teens without an outlet- like Violinist.com- and without a mentor-parents, or the adults on this page- grow up to say just as many embarrassing things as before.
live and learn...or so i think.
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