Sometimes I peek at the Google analytics generated page view reports for my blog. Most days I do not, because at this point in my blogging career, I don't want to hyper-focus on whether or not five more people read my blog yesterday than they did the day before. It doesn’t affect the topics I choose to write about and no matter how many page views I receive, I make the same amount of money each month for blogging, which amounts to diddly-squat minus 3.14 per month give or take ½ a percent of negative .01. Page views do matter, but there is something else that matters more to me.
When I do look at the reports, I scroll down to the page where it shows me how people came to my blog. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the mac-daddy stuff to know with regard to getting new readers to your blog. This is what really matters to me. I want to know what people want to learn about, so I can be a conduit of sorts, using my blog to connect them to resources and communicating consistently about the topics they care about. The majority of the visitors either subscribe by email to my actual blog or fans of my Facebook page, obviously, but many people find me as a result of a Google search about masturbation. I want them to find me this way.
Want to know why?
I wrote a post about masturbation once and now I will forever be associated with this spank-tastic topic. I can’t say this upsets me. I’m super proud of THIS blog post I wrote about talking with boys about tough topics, yet the handful of messages and emails I received in response to the post make me much happier than the thousands of page views it received and continues to receive. I will always stand by the things I have written with regard to using humor and honesty when discussing tender topics with kids. I hope that my kids will always come to me with their questions before doing a Google search. But the page views ARE important too.
Want to know why?
I recently typed in the keyword “masturbation” in the Google search box and was taken to an article on a website that is known to be a trustworthy and reliable source of medical information. The article I read clearly intended to offer up information while answering common questions about masturbation. I imagined myself as a teenage boy reading the piece and immediately realized that although it was an incredibly concise and informative article, the black and white thinking teenage mind might struggle with some of the information, feeling confused and/or anxious, which would inevitably lead to further Google searches, and most likely more questions. The more often people see accurate, informative and easy to understand information, the better off they will be.
Down, down, down the rabbit hole…
So this morning when I read THIS hilarious, yet informative article in USA Today by Josh Gad, it merely reinforced my belief that no matter how awkward or uncomfortable I find myself feeling when talking to my kids about certain topics, I not only have to continue to do so, but I also cannot wait for them come initiate each and every conversation, because if they want answers, they WILL seek them out, and there are so many idiots out there acting as experts in all areas. I can’t say for certain, but I’m pretty sure most teenage boys would rather do a Google search to find out why they are spraying urine all over the bathroom like an angry cat after a few weeks of overzealous masturbation sessions, recklessly humping and bumping the teen peen against the bedroom floor. Yeah, this happens.
If I find myself struggling and frustrated, falling deeper into the rabbit hole of the Internet and witnessing tussles on various social media networks when researching certain topics, it must be infinitely more difficult for a teenager to navigate the overwhelming on-line universe. Now that summer is here and I have a teenage boy complaining about my close monitoring of his Internet use, (and what he considers to be “annoying” and repetitive attempts to initiate discussions with him about any and all topics I believe are relevant to his current developmental status) I will be monitoring his search terms closely. I encourage you to carefully and consistently check in with your kids too. It is your business.
Want to know why?
Because your kid WILL Google the word masturbation and although the first couple of articles that blog posts that pop up are most often interesting and informative, the further down the rabbit hole he goes, there are images and information that will make you a whole lot more uncomfortable sorting out with your kid after you find out he has seen or read them, than having a honest and open conversations with him early on will ever be.
I don’t think I will ever care as much about page views as I care about what brings people to view my blog pages. The affect the Internet has on the sexual development of teenagers, particularly boys, is a lesson in chaos theory. It's true that all human developmental stages, including puberty, have somewhat predictable trajectories, but there are just so many “butterflies flapping their wings” in the bedroom, bathroom and on the Internet, you know what I’m saying? A simple Google search is NOT simple when it comes to healthy sexual development for boys. If controlled chaos is a delusion, I can't care. I'll hold on tight to the idea that I can keep making a difference by flapping my writing wings.
And this is why I’m making it my business to blog about boys banging on their boners. BOOM!
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