I’m going to state, flat out, that my gut reaction has always been to allow teenagers the opportunity to read what they want, and to decide for themselves what media is appropriate for them or not. I don’t imagine I know what’s best for teenagers. Being a media creator on the other hand, blurs the line a little. Sure, it’s one thing to wave a hand and say, “Of course! Let them read their cake… er, smut. Whatever.”
It’s a totally different thing to be the one providing it. I might not care if teens drink, do drugs or have sex – but I ain’t assisting in any of it! Often on this blog, we like to blatantly ignore lines. Decency, politeness, grammar and sense. But I was writing a post the other day discussing the worst promotional items to pair with young adult books. I won’t go into details, but it got a little explicit. I see other bloggers talking about restricting swearing and talk of explicit material out of consideration for teenage readers. I have never considered it before. Point of fact: my uncle twice removed is a buttswadled, dick-cheesed, ass-mouth. And so’s your imaginary friend – after I took them out to Tony’s Seafood restaurant, ordered a $45 Lobster meal and didn’t call the next day!
But I know it’s a concern for other bloggers and for parents. I imagine there’s a number of parents who probably hope their teenager doesn’t stumble across my blog and fall under my evil, corrupting influence. Truth is, though, that teenagers represent a relatively small portion of Cuddlebuggery readers according to our site stats. Not only is that probably because we’re a YA book blog aimed at adult readers, but also because teens actually do that self-censoring thing that I keep talking about.
What is the line you draw though? Is it better to be true to yourself and your voice, hoping your audience can click the x button if they don’t like what they read. But what line crosses over into indecency? Total inappropriateness? I don’t usually care, but since I started reading other people’s blogs, I feel like I suddenly want to be… somewhat respectable.
But failing that, because it is never going to happen, what are your opinions on this?