Blog Post Prompt: Picking up on the “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” article, write a short “writing to learn” reflection about an example of a way that some form of technology has changed the way you read or write (or both!) Try to be specific about the changes you’ve noticed about your habits, learning etc. both positive and negative.
How has technology changed the way I write?
I can’t remember the way I wrote before technology came into my life because it has always been there. However, I can say that for the majority of my life I shared a computer with my parents and my older sister (and all the students in my schools that used the computer labs and media center/library). That changed when I got my laptop at the end of my senior year of high school. Before that I usually only used the computer for schoolwork and watching Asian dramas and writing the occasional fiction piece, so I was writing everything by hand. Now, I tend to type 90% and hand write the other 10%. It used to be the other way around.
While I wrote/typed fiction pieces on the family computer, I used to write most of my pieces out in a notebook (I had several for this purpose). Now, I just have several different sub-folders in my documents folder that is dedicated to my fiction writing and subfolders dedicated to school, holidays, recipes, etc. Before having my own laptop, my section of the documents folder on the family laptop was a mess; I didn’t have any subfolders.
Unfortunately, while I’m organized with my folders and files, I’m much less organized now when it comes to schoolwork than I was pre-laptop, though I can’t say that my assignments themselves are well organized. I procrastinate so much, moreso on my personal writing than schoolwork, thankfully. I have a novel I’m researching/planning and I’ve been stalled for about two months now on both the research and planning end, not for lack of ideas, just lack of motivation. I was planning to start writing at the beginning of September, but I still have six character profiles to finish.
There’s this one part in the “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” article that stuck out to me was:
The Web has been a godsend to me as a writer. Research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes. A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after.
Having my own laptop though has made the research so much easier, especially since the few times I ventured into the library to find information, they haven’t had anything (or if they did, it was difficult to find and I gave up). I have a folder in my favorites dedicated just to the novel and there’s almost a hundred links in said folder. Not to mention, the internet has made it so much easier to find templates for character profiles and it’s helped me find articles on describing facial features and body types (i.e. giving me the terms to do so). Apparently, the words “bulky” and “plump” are overused. Who knew?
Granted, the internet (and I guess by extension my laptop) has also caused me to lose some of my grammar. I cringe just thinking about that. Anyway, I haven’t yet sunk into using chat speak in my writing, unless we’re talking twitter or texting. Except for lol, and sometimes brb, I refuse to use chatspeak when writing in a forum or in a blog post.
With my laptop and internet things have definitely gotten so much easier for me: easy access to research for my fiction and for classes, Asian dramas (especially since the TV station I used to watch them on was shut down), ways to stay in touch with friends and family, books, etc.
While some things have gotten easier, the bad points would definitely be procrastination and the slight decline in my grammar. I’ve been to known to give up studying for a test because there’s something much more interesting to do on the computer; thankfully I have yet to fail a test, but it’s only a matter of time. Procrastination also means lack of sleep, especially when I decide to watch a drama or read a new ebook. Which, by the way, I bought Laura Griffin’s newest book in paperback at the beginning of September and have yet to even reach page 100. This is all because of the hundreds of ebooks on my laptop right now. I don’t know how this happened. A few months ago I was still curling up with a paperback and now I’m neglecting them. Hopefully this whatever-it-is reverts back to normal because as much as I love the easy access that ebooks give, I still like having a paperback in hand.
Too bad we can’t go back in time to the days when I was playing Oregon Trail on the elementary school computers and reading ten Nancy Drew books in a week. Those were definitely the days… before the internet intruded in my life and I had my own laptop.