Interesting points were made the other day at the recent “unconference” I attended concerning digital literacy and media in relation to the Teaching of Writing. One that caught my attention in particular was in relation to blogs (although, not exclusively blogs, but all frameworks – virtual and otherwise).
Certainly, blogs and the blog-o-sphere are fabulous for enabling interaction, the growth of communities, and the sharing of thoughts and ideas. However, how do the very frameworks and styles of the blogs themselves shape how we act? How we write? How we respond to the writing of others?
This got me thinking – what rules and limitations exist in WordPress that dictate certain elements of my writing here? How does it force me to organize my thoughts? My writing? How does its determination of the past and present impact how I feel and think about my ideas and writing? How does my writing change when I am writing on a notepad instead? In a Microsoft Word Document?
I know that my writing changes from format to format – often dramatically. For example, when I write on a physical notepad rather than on the computer, it feels rougher, it feels more intimate. And, due to these feelings, I am greatly reluctant to share anything I write on a physical page with others whether they be family, friend, or stranger. When I type things up, however, even if they are the exact thing I had just written in a journal, I find myself feeling as though the words are more professional, cleaner, safer, and, perhaps strangest of all, already public – no matter where I’ve typed them. This usually changes my writing in significant ways, whether my writing is made more formalized, normalized, or delicate – it changes.
Do you feel like your writing changes according to where it is the writing is occurring?
What about your reading? I know when I’m reading online I always feel more suspicious and often a bit more impatient and tired – as if I were doing schoolwork. On the other hand, when I read a physical book – NOT an e-book or any other electronic media – I feel calmer, like I’m on vacation or something (which may have strange implications for my feeling and approaches to technologies generally).
Give a shout out if you also find yourself suddenly fascinated by the ways that technologies, environments, and frameworks are actually acting upon you as much as you are acting upon them!