Public e-Journals: Why Teens Love to Share All

e-journals, online diary, photo sharing, evertale, facebook, flickr, tumblr, bloggingOne of the questions I ask my teen interns during the interview process is:

“What are some teen behavioral trends? Do you see you or other teenagers doing something that is a new behavior for your age group?”

This is where I hear about all kinds of interesting trends before they reach the mainstream–like teen biting, SillyBandz and Nutmeg highs. Recently I have been hearing a lot about online or public forum journaling. With the advent of many new online tools, teens are becoming more nostalgic and want to not only share all parts of their lives, but also document and save them for the future. Here are a few different sites that help users document and share their personal lives online:

1. Evertale

Evertale is a digital scrapbook of your real life, and it does this by writing itself through your mobile phone updates. Evertale uses your phone’s locations, meetings, music and calendar events to create a digital scrapbook of your life automatically.


2. Tumblr

Tumblr is a free blog hosting platform where users can upload, tag and save photos, music, diary entries, videos…you name it you can save it on Tunblr. I hear many teens mention Tumblr when they talk about kids who keep online journals.

3. Facebook

Duh. Teens use Facebook to store, share and save pictures. Many teens have told me that their Facebook is like their parent’s hall entryway–they have all of their most important pictures to show visitors.

4. Flickr

Flickr is a photo sharing and photo management website. Many teens who are avid photo takers and not huge writers love using Flickr to keep track of their photos.

The real question that many parents ask me is: “Why do teens feel the need to journal in public? What happened to a good old fashioned leather-bound journal with a lock and key?” First, many teens do feel that by adding some privacy features to their Facebook or Tumblr they are having a virtual lock and key. They feel this is private enough. Second, many teens feel they are actually maintaining their memories by documenting their thoughts, ideas and activities. Even I am not sure I will ever have ‘real life’ photo albums as it is easier to put everything online. Last, there is an aspect of public display. If teens do something cool, are dating someone hot or want to impress someone else putting pictures up in a semi-public forum is a great way to show off a bit.

I think it is really important for adults to see both sides of the public e-journal trend. On the one hand, it is great teens feel proud of themselves and their friends are documenting their lives for their grandchildren. On the other hand, there is a fine line between sharing the right amount of information and sharing too much information. I hope that we can talk to our kids about what is appropriate for them to share and what is not.

Photo: The Italian Voice from Flickr

Share Your Pictures, Not Just Your Thoughts

Mike is a 17-year-old from Chicago, IL. He enjoys eccentric individuals, playing with computers and hopes to one day dominate the radio airwaves.

Facebook.  Twitter.  Tumblr.  YouTube.  Teens like to share what’s going on in their lives.  A lot of today’s sharing is done not only with text, but also with visual mediums such as with pictures and video.  Personally, I enjoy uploading and sharing pictures to Twitter and Facebook whenever I’m out at an event.  Attaching pictures to short Facebook posts adds more meaning to what’s really going on, and it allows for easier commenting and discussion.  Lately, I’ve being seeing more and more of my Facebook friends uploading pictures from their mobile phones, making Facebook a whole lot more interesting to browse through.  Teens aren’t just uploading photos on their phones though, they are editing them too.  Here’s a few of the major examples:



1.       Pixelpipe – For a majority of cell phones, even if they don’t fall into the “smart” category, Pixelpipe is a solid option that allows users to share photos and video to an endless number of social media websites.  If you happen to have an iPhone or an Android based phone, dedicated apps exist that streamline the process of sharing your mobile content with the world.

2.       Facebook Mobile – If you happen to own a smart phone, the Facebook mobile app is perfect for sharing content while on the go.

3.       Instagram – This website / mobile sharing platform has hit pretty hard recently.  This platform allows users to snap pictures and give them an old timey look before uploading to show their friends.



1.       Photoshop Express – Existing for both the iPhone and Android platforms, Photoshop Express allows users to professionally edit photos right on their phone.

2.       PicSay – Strictly for the Android platform, PicSay and PicSay pro allow users make fun edits on their photos and then share to their friends.


The problem with covering anything regarding mobile photo apps is that there are literally hundreds in existence.  I listed a few of my favorite above, but users are best off doing a search in their respective app stores or on Google to find the platform that is best for them.   Sharing apps and video as well as mobile editing is a fairly recent craze that is really catching on with the younger crowd.  It’s a fun way to show your friends what’s on your mind instead of simply telling them.