In Writing as Technology by Bolter, the author discusses various mediums of technology in writing. From papyrus to the printing press, Bolter covers evolution of writing whether by scribes onto hard slabs of wood or the change of the printing press. Other readings throughout this course had authors discuss the downfall of technology upgrades from the pencil to the computer in our society. The advance in our technology has created a new monster on the internet.
Bolter wrote something in his article that would speak to a non believer in the evolution of technology: “artificial intelligence has not provided us machines with the capacity to write stories or create fully autonomous graphic world”. (Bolton, 20). As much as all college students would love to have a machine to do their homework, technologically speaking we are just not there yet. I have even tried to find an app that can read text on my Ipad instead of reading to myself. This is an advance our society would not be ready for. Change in technology often has to be integrated slowly. In the article Atwood in Twittersphere by Margaret Atwood, an elderly woman explores the new site for her own investigation broadening her horizons to things and popular computer slang like LMAO. However, she discussed something very important and even admitted to being guilty of it herself: over sharing on the internet.
Over sharing is a topic also discussed by Bolton, stating that “This openness led to things like erotic Web sites” (20), forcing United State officials to block those sites in protection of young children. Over sharing is something youth and adults are faced with daily temptation. Even authors like Atwood are prone to over sharing, she admits after stating “queasy encouragement shown by those on the shore waving goodbye to someone who’s about to shoot Niagara Falls in a barrel. Oops! I shouldn’t have said that. Which is typical of “social media”: you’re always saying things you shouldn’t have said.” Knowledge is power, and with so much information accessible where does that leave us? Being so informed, it can almost be harmful to individuals.
A good example is a page of Facebook called Rowan University Confessions/Secrets (my current institution). It is a place where students can anonymously write in confessions, but can be greatly harmful. I am a resident assistant on campus in a medium size freshman dorm, and at the beginning of this academic year an anonymous person wrote into the page “to the RA on the second floor of Mimosa, sometimes we can see you changing from the basketball courts”. Now, the process of elimination was pretty easy on that one. There are only 3 resident assistants on the second floor of mimosa, only 1 of whom had a room facing the basketball courts and it just happened to be mine. That single embarrassing moment was now forever in cyberspace and reached most of my 800 Facebook friends, including my bosses.
Now, Bolton ends his article with the idea that “the computer makes associative linking easier” (20) but sometimes that does not necessarily make it better. Sometimes it can be safer to stick with the safer, more naturalistic writing of the old days.