“Twitchy Little Screen” Indeed

Recently I read two chapters in Writing Space: Computers, hypertext, and remediation of print by Jay David Bolton and a lot of what he said really boggled my mind. I came about this article for my Intro to Writing class at Rowan University. Right now we are focusing on Technologies and the Future of Writing. With that being said we are focusing on writing but in a more technological lens. Bolton, the author of this piece, is the Wesley chair of New Media and a professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Institute of Technology. His main focus is the evolution of media, the role of computers in the writing process, as well as the use of technology in education. In this piece he talks about the ever changing times from invention of the printed book to developing a tablet that is so compact and lightweight that it is displacing books. Now a days, any printed book can be found online, and some books are not even printed at all! Electronic books can grab the attention of the reader more easily because of many interactive pictures and stimulate environments. Many people now-a-days would rather have a book with a ton of pictures, than a book with very informative text. At first when books started to be electronic, people still favored the printed book because of the simple fact that you can’t read the electronic book in bed. But now with the inventions like the Kindle and the Nook, this could create books to become obsolete. The advantages of a printed book were mainly they were portable, inexpensive, and easy to read. Whereas computer devices were expensive, and promoted eye strain. I can completely relate to these valid points. When the kindle first came out I was ecstatic to try it out! No more clutter from having a ton of books on shelves taking up space, and now I could read in the dark and have a small light weight device to carry around. Well this was not all I thought it would crack up to be. My eyes did strain if I read the device too long, and also it needs electricity to charge. There is just something about having a printed book in hand that is way better than staring at a screen. Which is why Bolton makes a point that for literature it may never be replaced by multimedia. It will only be used for home entertainment and information purposes. Bolton talks about how there may even be virtual classrooms and teachers may be displaced. Coming from me, as student who took online classes, I find them to be useless and uninformative. Being in a classroom, having face to face contact, all while holding and using the printed version of a book I find more fulfillment. Holding a printed book in hand means more to me than looking at it on a “twitchy little screen”.


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