As someone who is just beginning with analyzing how the Internet and the digital world affect the physical world, it seems fitting to discuss how people connect to the virtual world. One of the basic links between the virtual and the physical worlds is text; whether words are spoken or written, there is a specific way a message is conveyed. The most personal and easily-identifiable way to discuss gaps in the listening and understanding of speech is through dialect variations. This is discussed fully by the PBS Idea Channel on YouTube. After viewing this video, there are some points for discussion.
Among the points the video makes, there are several engaging to me as an upcoming digital writer. The accessibility of technology affects how people communicate, especially online. Internet users are quick to make use of the latest trends in technology, including certain current events and visual aspects; therefore, the messages’ specific contexts and relevancy in the current time is constantly changing. Similarly, depending on the site being accessed, the content posted has expectations, and this influence is easily noticed. For example, numerous social media sites are utilized when users could easily belong to a single site. This reality is connected with this idea of expectations because sites focus on certain types of media. As people become accustomed to more of these websites, keeping these expectations in mind is crucial so as to not morph these various sites into one. Furthermore, a community of practice seems inviting and promising because the contexts of interactions allow online communication to be seen as more meaningful than if they were to occur under other contexts or a lack thereof. The newfound influence behind electronic text give it validation in the physical world. The constant evolution of technology in response to the physical world, and vice versa, has become important due to the ever-growing link between these two realities.
The importance of technology and its influence affects a large amount of people directly, myself included. One of the causes behind the massive numbers of Internet users in recent times seems to be the popularity of various social media sites. Since I am exploring my connections to this world as a digital writer, I will focus on three sites I tend to visit most as a social media user: Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr.
Both Instagram and Twitter value sharing users’ personal lives, so it seems fitting to discuss them together. Instagram is a site used for posting and sharing pictures with followers with an optional caption or featured location, and Twitter is another means for interaction online featuring short written entries of a maximum of 140 characters with possible picture additions. While on a site that possesses a focus on images or a limit on what can be typed, it is easy to overlook the text presented; however, the text that is posted ranges greatly. While Instagram captions usually include a witty play-on-words or a famous quote, Twitter is infamous for acronyms or a lack of grammatical correctness in order to send the intended messages without exceeding the character limit. Hashtags are also included to expand the post’s audience.
Tumblr is a personal blogging website that also values the personal lives of users, yet this channel does so a differently. Bloggers are encouraged to act more sensitively and anonymously in their posts so as to allow them to speak more openly, and the posts mainly feature both short and long pieces of text, as well as pictures, videos, audio clips, and other types of media.
As a constant user of these websites, I feel drawn to them for their various means of connecting with my friends and acquaintances, along with other fellow users. I enjoy keeping up with the important events in my friends’ lives, as well as sharing eventful moments of my own. Depending on the situation and what type of media I wish to use, I will share an aspect of my life accordingly, whether it be a casual picture, a short piece of text, or a more personal post. Being more aware of how I and others act on these various sites will be sure to affect a person’s mindset before sharing.