Is technology killing writing?

Hi-tech writing, or technology writing, has definitely given us new horizons, but with a difference. Is technology killing writing indeed?

Some experts of the English language feel that technology has spelled doom for the progress of writing. The premise is that in the age of chatting and text messaging, it’s difficult to worry about the English itself, i.e. grammar, punctuation, etc.

Well, that’s one argument, but there’s another camp that holds the opposite view. Some language experts believe that the new tools in technology facilitate writing and encourage young people to write more frequently, In short, high-tech gadgets like computers and smart phones and notebooks tend to make writing more pleasurable and it allows for more practice.

Although one can argue against or for both of these arguments, many observers say that language needed to be reassessed when the printing press was introduced. Prior to printing, all writing was done by hand, and stories of morality and culture were passed on from one generation to another in an oral medium. The printing press changed all that. In terms of religious thinking, Johannes Guttenberg, the inventor of movable type printing (circa 1439), changed the face of Christianity with the release of the Gutenberg Bible.

In the same fashion, the computer has been a wonderful tool for writers all over the world to publish and get their work out as quickly as possible. And the convenience of laptops and notebooks are especially noteworthy, making them ideal tools for writing. Additionally, software like Windows Word helps to check spelling and grammar; everything considered, it’s a great time to be a writer. And you don’t have to worry about stuff like the Spanish Inquisition to censor your work!

As far as texting messages and writing short form goes, there might be some misspellings and grammar errors in SMS messages, but the creativity of it all is still quite remarkable – not to mention the speed at which these messages are sent to virtually every part of the world.

There are also stories that one hears like the one of Westlake School District in Ohio, which found that literacy skills among school kids improve when they blog. That’s really a heart-warming discovery of the times that we are living in and it reveals several aspects of modern life that still have an element of hope.

On the one hand, we are quite bewildered at the thought of letting our children loose on the Net. And conversely, we also feel that they might be left behind as writers and thinkers if they do not possess the kind of skills that social networking and blogging requires them to have. How ironic? It’s as Charles Dickens said, “It’s the best of times, and the worst of times.”

Nonetheless, this is an age of writing, maybe not like Shakespeare or Voltaire, but the number of blogs and online news articles goes to show that there is still a huge readership online. And that is indeed encouraging. For writing is just a medium of expression just as painting. And one can express the same emotions, and feelings via the Internet, just as one would write a book.

So, does technology really kill the written words? Absolutely not. No matter how much technology there is, each person has a craving to read and to know. Whether one uses a notebook in the traditional sense or an Apple notebook, it really doesn’t matter.

Now, do you believe that technology killing writing?