By: Alyssa Allemand, Arrian Madden, and Hannah Pickard
In today’s society, people are slaves to their phones or laptops; but back in the old days, people didn’t even know what technology would exist. By spending so much time on social media, people of all ages are exposed to numerous, sometimes biased, sources. The media significantly contributes to forming people’s opinions. Reporters jump on anything that can twist one’s political views, religion, beliefs, or lifestyle.
Think of this past election; the media played a HUGE role in swaying people’s views, and a lot of the time, those claims were exaggerated. The media also affects friendships, romantic relationships, and families through portraying societal expectations. It also has changed the arts; fine art, music, and literature through relying more on technology. With the internet allowing people to post their ideas instantly, the world of English has changed, in both positive and negative ways.
A big way the media has contributed to English in modern day is that people can share and post their ideas much faster than ever before. Anyone is allowed to publish a blog, BS their way through Wikipedia, or create books through various websites. This can be a good thing because it connects fellow writers to one another and they can receive feedback. However, it also discredits the writer’s integrity. Ling Too, from Storify.com, writes, “Yes, social media may be the next step in the world of literature in which people can share faster and to a broader audience however, there are still consequences such as the integrity of the piece and the many critics opposed to the new move.” People can type and submit whatever they feel without having to go through any editing, feedback, or credibility checks.
When published writers use online sources, they often face limitations because of word count; all of the time they spent writing their stories goes to waste when half of what they wrote needs to be cut out. Though stories and works of literature are more accessible and it is fun to share ideas with others, it is unfair to published writers.
Plagiarism is one of the biggest concerns with this new age in literature. People can now copy anyone’s work and make it their own. Along with that, there are also issues with copyright. Some examples of this are shown through works in the 50 Shades of Grey novels and other forms of fanfiction.
Not only is an author’s integrity questioned in online literature, but their creativity is, as well. Writers used to gather and arrange their thoughts by laying them out by hand, with pen and paper. Using computers in today’s society has taken away from that process. Author Zoe Pilger expresses, “Writing on paper in that way allows for incoherence and messiness, which is a necessary stage of the creative process.” The simple, yet complicated, functions of a computer also hinder the writing process. Writers are not allowed to be sloppy in their drafts any longer due to keyboard shortcuts like copy, paste, and cut. In Thomas McMullan’s article, “How Technology Rewrites Literature,” he states, “Writing with electronic devices has affected structures, research, and editing. It has affected order and it had affected rhythm, from the tap-tap swipe of a typewriter to the swipe-swipe tap of a tablet.”
The technological advances made in the world of literature have resulted in some good things, and some bad things. McMullan says, “From typing on a rolling stream of white space to editing in a cloud, shifts in hardware have altered the way writers research, draft, refine, and, ultimately, conceive of their work… the contemporary writer is no longer alone in the room.” We hope that we can all agree that having a book in one’s hand, less prone to getting a headache from staring at a computer, is more satisfying than investing oneself in modern technology. As Stephen King once said, “Books are the perfect entertainment: no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.”