Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Age grading the blogosphere


In class the other day, I assured a group of students that I don't just grade their papers-- that I actually write. I mentioned that like most professors, I write grants and journal articles. Then I added, "I also blog." They roared with laughter, and I wanted to know what was so funny.
One of the less inhibited undergraduates explained that blogging is not something they associate with people as ancient as I. "How old should a blogger be?" I inquired.
Another young lady spoke up. "Blogging is for people older than us, but not as old as you. You know, like maybe in their thirties." She added quickly, "I'm sorry, Dr. Gann. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. You can blog if you want to." Glad she gave me permission.

Apparently, these undergraduates don't blog themselves; they prefer to use Facebook, a picture-intensive social networking site which I regard as superficial and inane, though I actually belong to it so I can view the pictures my daughter posts of my grandchild.

The students did not wish to hurt my feelings, but it was clear they had trouble imagining that antediluvian persons like me would have things to blog about, any more than they could imagine their parents engaging in sex. It's hard for people of different generations to understand each other. In a certain sense, young people inhabit a different culture. Teaching undergraduates at ETSU may not be that different from teaching in China.

3 comments:

quig said...

I noticed that you had a posting on your superficially, inane, Facebook site regarding your pending trip to Florida.....

Roz said...

Yes I do, John. You cannot fight your own culture, and (alas!) Facebooking is an established cultural practice.

Ruth W. said...

Yes, I have both Facebook and blogger, the one I prefer is blogger because you can at least express your ideas in at least a paragraph if not more, Facebook seems to limit you to a sentence or less.

Don't worry Roz, these kids will grow up and will realize what a wonderful writer you are.

What does tomorrow mean? It is 5:30 pm here, but at home it’s 5:00 in the morning. I leave Weihai tomorrow and make a stop in Beijing. ...