Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

Anxious Over Change

For my Introduction to Writing Arts course, I was assigned to readings by Bolter on the change from printed texts to digital ones. To be honest, the idea that we are in “late age of print” scared me a bit. It’s embarrassing to admit; after all, I’m a young college kid. I’m not supposed to be technologically inept for at least another fifteen years. Yet there I was, feeling anxious. Bolter writes that “linear forms such as the novel and the essay may or may not flourish in an era of digital media” (6). I have never been one to handle uncertainty well. As a writing major, I have set myself up to spend my life writing. All I know, all I’ve been taught my entire life, are these so-called linear forms of writing. In fact, my intention was creative: I wanted to create novels. A risky idea already, as my friends and family love to remind me, but now they might just cease to exist? Bolter continues on to say that “prose itself is being forced to renegotiate its cultural role” as the visual becomes the way to present information (Bolter 6). Still, I am not a “Visual Arts” major, and I am not being trained in the visual.

Upon forcing myself to think about it longer, however, I understand that prose becoming less linear does not necessarily mean that I will have nothing to do with my talents and that I will end up cold and homeless (no matter what my anxiety will have me believe).

anxiety-21

In “Writing as Technology,” Bolter talks about the ways newer technologies “define themselves by borrowing from, paying homage to, critiquing, and refashioning their predecessors” (24). In particular, I’m interested in the example of games: “computer games remediate film by styling themselves as ‘interactive movies'” (Bolter 25). The video game industry, for all its flaws, has really grown. Games have the ability to tell a story in a way that novels or movies can’t. They have become far more story-driven than they were in the beginning. I always toyed with the idea of trying to become a video game writer, but I gave up on the idea because I felt I wasn’t good enough at games. Reading what Bolter had to say about the evolution of writing, however, I feel like this is the perfect option for me. Even if the novel is dying out, the video game surely isn’t. And, fortunately for me, my ability to write is far better than my ability to complete a game on its hardest difficulty.

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Inconsiderately Polite

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