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Why Are You Reading This?

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As I sit down to write this, I find myself struggling to put together a series of words that is anything more than an 18-year-old -- no more qualified than most other 18-year-olds -- trying to come off as qualified.

I like to hope that a majority of bloggers, regardless of their age, face this same obstacle, but it is unlikely. Wordpress says that 500,000 new blog posts are published on their sites a day. 120 million people use Tumblr each month. According to a New York Times article, the Huffington Post published about 50 new blog posts each day in the politics section alone as of February 2011. Everyone is becoming a journalist.

Without question, it's great that the Internet has made it so easy to get opinions out and shared with the world -- we no longer have a way to gauge what is important and whose opinions matter. Before the Internet, it was an honor to have your words published. Only the best -- the most qualified -- could get a byline. Now, anyone can.

Of the hundreds of thousands of blogs published each day, how many do you think have merit? How many of the bloggers know any more about what they're writing about than you? How many do you even think are based off of facts?

And with that, if you've made it this far in this post, I thank you. For some strange reason, I was the blogger who's post you chose to read. You thought I was special. Thanks.

But I'm also slightly worried for you. Whether or not you agree with what I'm saying, you took the time to read 250 words that a random kid from California wrote. I don't have a college degree. I've never written a successful book. I can't even stay out past midnight without checking in with my parents first. Yet you read my post.

Teenagers are the future, blah blah blah, but does that really mean our opinions are worth listening to? My posts get a fairly good amount of readers and a handful of shares on Twitter and Facebook each, but I've never understood exactly why. I've done a fair share of things that, at the time, I thought were important, but in reality, I'm just another teenager with a keyboard and a functioning brain. Why are you listening to me? Why are you reading this?

I'm not encouraging you to stop reading what I, or any other blogger, says. Instead, I'm simply saying that we should be aware of whose writing you're reading and make sure you're able to distinguish your ideas from the ones that will now forever be swimming around inside your head. A lot of what you read on the Internet will be trash, so be careful out there. Trust me. I have a blog.