Inconsiderately Polite

College Students' Views on Etiquette Online

A Shift in Time: How Writing Technologies are Changing the Way We Write

Bolter talks about the change in writing that is occurring because of the introduction of new technologies.  In his article Writing as a Technology he says that, “It is not a question of seeing writing as an external technological force that influences or changes cultural practice; instead, writing is always a part of culture” (Bolter 19).  Throughout time, I have noticed that the space I choose to write in has changed.  I used to write drafts to my work by hand, and then go to a computer.  Now, I start typing drafts from the computer immediately.  I think for me it is easier because I can type as fast as I’m thinking, and I something I have wrote with more flexibility.  Bolter notes this flexibility as a quality that makes the computer different from printed material, and that we may begin to associate more with this quality as we use the computer more (Bolter 3).  While writing was always a part of my culture, the way and space that I write in has taken on a different form because writing as a technology is transforming.  I think another way that technology impacts the world today, as Bolter says in his article Writing as Technology is that, “the sum of the technical and social interactions that constitute a writing system” are changing the technology of writing (Bolter 20).

For myself, I think that social media has allowed me to see that it is not only the writer that writes something for people to see, but then the readers can respond, creating a world of connection and constant communication between people.  When I look on Twitter, I see all of the original tweets, but it is the reader’s responses that create the conversation and allow for more reader involvement than there is with printed text.  As Bolter puts it, “such tensions between monumentality and changeability and between the tendency to magnify the author and to empower the reader have already become part of our current economy of writing” (4).  This shows the impact that blogs and social media have on writing and how it is changing the way we communicate.  Not only that, but, electronic writings “permit the reader to share in the dynamic process of writing and to alter the voice of text” (Bolter 9).  What the writer initially writes may change due to the voice of the readers that join in while, the writing space that is formed by the computer is “animated, visually complex, and malleable in the hands of both the writer and reader” (Bolter 13).  This forms the social connections that not only myself, but everyone around the world has with each other.  When new media develops, they try to claim that they can improve our lives in some way or how we connect with others.  As consumers of this media, we fall in this trap, because I think are always looking for easier and faster ways to connect with others in this new age of technology.

More on Bolter from his book “Writing Spaces:  Computers, Hypertext, and the Remediation of Print”

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