From Online Caterpillar to Digital Butterfly

Dialects, memes, stories, and DIYs. Typically, these random assortment of words would seem odd to placed together; however, over the last few weeks, this list has allowed me to have been able to delve more deeply into these digital genres in order to gather a better view of the Internet world. While I am definitely not a professional digital writer, I have made large steps towards this ultimate goal as a result of these few analytical blog posts.

Becoming a better digital writer may seem like a daunting task at first glance; however, like any other skill, it is a process that takes time and practice. As someone who has just recently begun this process, it makes sense to me to begin to examine this process from simple beginnings. Whenever a person wants to add their thoughts to the online world, they have to keep their digital identity in mind, which is the compilation of all the digital documents associated with them. Therefore, since a person has control over what is and is not posted, they can essentially create whatever identity they desire, thus giving the Internet a sense of freedom. Similarly, what people post, where they post, and other related characteristics are used to create the electronic side of digital culture. Digital culture is the related context of the physical and online worlds which gives meaning and relevance to content placed on the Internet. When trying to form ideas on the web, using digital identity and culture together to get a point across is vital to allow any other person who encounters the writing to make sense of it. Any online passage can be successful as long as both digital identities and cultures are held at the heart of the piece.

Once the personal and cultural contexts of digital writing is determined, the content itself varies from that of physical-world writings. Personally, if another person had asked me to describe, or even list, a few electronic genres at the beginning of this journey, I would not have been able to do so. However, now I find myself looking for new online realms to explore, and the reason behind this shift has to do with the changing of mindsets. Prior to thinking about being a digital writer, I thought of the Internet as a digital means of communicating physical-world thoughts. I had not considered the idea that the opposite is also true, meaning that not only can the outside world affect the online world, but electronic writing can also influence those present in the real world. In the modern world, differentiating between these two realms can be difficult as they are so closely knit; therefore, this means that being aware of the interdependence between these two worlds is vital to one’s survival in both of them. In addition, this realization presents the idea that the skills used to create successful content for casual purposes can also be utilized in more formal settings. For example, this blog is run as an assignment for an English class; however, I will also be able to use the insight I have gained in this course for digital writings and assignments in other classes or in the working world by focusing on the identity, culture, and influence that particular writing possesses. Allowing myself to be a proficient writer in the physical world in addition to the digital world is an important skill as these environments morph into one.

Gaining this knowledge is an achievement of which one should be proud; however, knowing what to do versus how to implement this knowledge in a beneficial way are two different tasks. Therefore, it is also necessary to exemplify this mental growth and present some of the skills which I have developed. In my previous post Plugging Into Internet Outlets, I explored the connections between the physical and the digital by stating that “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.” Even after just recently beginning my journey to enhance my digital writing skills, coming to this conclusion as a way to create a link between these two overarching realms is vital to any person’s understanding of how the online world functions interdependently of the physical world.

The influence of the Internet in the physical world was more closely examined in one of my subsequent posts. When discussing memes in my post Say What You Meme, I discuss how memes are “an image that is easily recognizable to the majority of people in a society, which can be considered as common knowledge.” The use of physical-world knowledge in the digital world is a common sight; however, the frequency with which it is used does notmeme undermine its overall importance. Memes, like most other digital genres, either exist as a digital extension of some real-world aspect or manifest online to eventually become part of the physical world through speech or some other means, which was explored through the creations of original memes. Because of the large amount of online genres and sub-genres that exist as a result of the involvement between electronic and physical communities, knowing how to create content that will be understood and accepted is an increasingly important skill in modern society.

As I reflect over the blog posts I have created and the new perspective I have gained, I realize how much of a change in attitude I have encountered towards writing on the Internet. Although I have made large steps towards becoming a better digital writer, this assigned journey is only the beginning. Regardless of whether I continue to formally record my future steps in the process of bettering my digital writing skills, my changed mindset will guide how I present myself online going forward. Remembering the knowledge I have gained in this journey and possessing a willingness to explore the digital world further will allow me to take future steps towards becoming a better digital writer.


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