The Metamorphosis of Dear Diary

journalI looked at my rose pink journal and thought to myself, “My goodness, it´s been years since I wrote in that!” Then, I asked myself exactly what I am about to ask you: Do the words Dear Diary exist anymore?

Do you remember that little book with the lock and key? That book you used as your emotional outlet or as a keepsake of precious memories, let them be embarrassing, sad or joyful?

Remember thinking you would open your diary/journal up years down the line and think about those life lessons you had learned or those moments you had shared with someone?

Some of you might even remember burning yours or throwing it away because it was full of secrets you don´t want anybody to discover about your past.

YES. You get me now, right?! Well, if you grew up with The Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls, then you probably understand.

The reality is that instead of reading books for fun, children and adults are on the Internet. The reality is that instead of writing in diaries or journals to express themselves, children and adults are on the Internet. The reality is… YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Apps and other social media outlets of self-expression to come in the future (because a creative mind has to put that creativity to use).

Time Magazine cited Common Sense Media statistics, saying, “A new study shows that kids read for fun less and less as they get older, with 45% of 17-year-olds saying they read by choice only once or twice a year…. And so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the — Snapchat!”

Not to mention, there´s autocorrect, but that´s a whole other article so let´s keep it simple.

It definitely challenges educators, like myself, to plan creative ways to teach and encourage literacy and typing writing.

While a diary or journal is personal, it is also private, for the writer´s eyes only. Now-a-days, as quoted from So Complicated, “The keyboard has replaced the pen as the mightier tool than the sword.” That also means blog entries, vlog entries and status updates. And get this…they are PUBLIC. Even if family and friends can see it, it is considered PUBLIC in the sense that it is not for your eyes only.

A majority of people no longer care about living private lives as photos and videos are digital invitations into their homes. They are too busy trying to become public figures. Who can get the most followers on Instagram? Who can get the most fans on Facebook?

Okay, okay. So not everybody is fame-obsessive. The written typed words, photos and videos serve many other purposes as in: sharing of ideas, seeking advice, an emotional outlet, sharing big news, sharing an opinion (Donald Trump comes to mind) and so on and so forth. Basically, the internet society is an open book.

George Orwell wrote in his novel, 1984, “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

This leads me back to my question. Do the words, Dear Diary exist anymore? Some of you might answer, “Who keeps a diary anymore?” According to http://www.girlstalkinsmack.com, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Aniston are among some celebrities who keep diaries.

No matter how many blogs, vlogs or status udpdates there are in the world, dairies and journals are timeless and excellent tools in practicing spelling and grammar. Before you argue about how autocorrect is just as good and makes our lives so much easier, scroll up to the quote I cited from Time Magazine.

I miss the words, Dear Diary, sometimes, but right now, I have to go take a picture of the apple pie I baked and post it on Instagram.

Rumki Chowdhury
Rumki Chowdhury

Published Author, Poet and Journalist. Born in Bangladesh, raised in USA, lived in UK and now in, Sweden. Married and mother of two daughters, Alhumduilillah.

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