What happens on the internet stays on the internet…scary

Clark argues that the internet and more broadly, the computer, is a collaborative tool; I agree to some extent. On the one hand, it allows people to comment and share their thoughts on different pieces of writing instantly. I can publish a blog post or publicize a website and anyone with internet access can comment on my writing. Also, with platforms like Googledoc, writers have the ability to collaborate with people anywhere in the world without actually having to be near them. But as the internet continues to advance, individuals’ need for human contact decreases. Instead of asking my friend who has an obsession with polar bears how much they weigh, I’ll type it into google. This lessens our need to collaborate with other people in order to get answers because all the information we could ever need is a mouse click away.

While I don’t agree with all of the collaborate advantages Clark argues for, I do see the internet’s other benefits. For one, it allows anyone with access to get something published.  If I want to publish a blog or a website, I don’t need to go through a publishing company, I just press a blue “publish” button. I also agree with Clark’s assertion that ePortfolios provide a huge advantage to their paper portfolio counterparts. With the advancement of online portfolios, people can send their work out to an infinite number of people, and it takes almost zero effort. Maybe more importantly, creating a portfolio online allows people to constantly change, improve, and grow their repertoire of work.

While I enjoyed the majority of the Clark reading, her section on blogging stood out to me the most because in one paragraph, she encapsulated what blogging makes me feel: pressure.  I know for Writing 220, blogging gets graded more on completion than correctness of content and does not make up an overwhelming part of our overall grade, yet I feel my heart racing every time I read we have a blog post to complete. Clark’s reading helped me understand why: blogging is high-stakes. The second I press that blue “publish” button, my work becomes public. Anyone with internet connection could access it and hold me accountable for anything and everything I write. What if I wrote something when I was really tired one day and didn’t mean it? Tough luck, because as every adult has told every 20-something at one point in their life, once something is on the internet, it’s there for good.

2 thoughts to “What happens on the internet stays on the internet…scary”

  1. Hi Emily!

    I agree with you that to some extent, the collaborative affordances of digital technology have some limits. However, most of those limits you discuss are social. We hear all the time about mobile communication taking the place of face-to-face interaction. But do those limits extend to creativity as well? Are tools that are supposed to encourage collaboration simultaneously inhibiting creativity?

    Lastly, I totally agree with you about the points Clark makes about blogging. I am with you in that publishing a blog post can be a high-anxiety pursuit. However, for some reason I cannot completely pinpoint, I feel much more comfortable publicly posting a blog than sharing my written work in class.

  2. Hi Emily,

    I totally see your point on blogging. I also feel the same when I try to click “publish”. It is different from other writings, we have chances to revise and get the best final draft, but blogging is more of a momentary thing. It gives us the ability to express, but at the same time limit us by attaching this responsibility of what we have written.
    I think as you said, internet gives us everything that we were not be able to achieve with papers, but writing on internet requires more self-consciousness and understanding of the audience.
    Our class has not only trained us to write on the internet, but also how to present ourselves as writers on it.

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