Technology has definitely changed the way I write, in both quality and quantity. For me writing is more of a chore than an enjoyable activity. To be honest, I hate writing; essays, and assignments, even long e-mails sometimes bother me. When I sit down with my laptop to write an essay I look at the word processing screen and all I see is how much I haven't written and how much I have left to write. The task in front of me becomes more daunting and frustrating. I feel like when I write on the computer my words are chosen to simply fill a page. Handwriting provides an escape from the looming word counts and page numbers. We discussed in class how writing by hand forces you to think out your sentences and chose your words more carefully. I agree that while typing we simply type whatever comes to mind and don't think through our ideas completely. This creates less effective points and poorer results.
A main problem I notice when I write essays on my laptop, is all of the distractions that come along with using the computer. I have music and internet at my fingertips and this can dramatically change the quality of writing. With the ability to distract yourself with entertainment it is far too easy to ignore your assignment and encourage writers block. The screen also is tiring to look at and gives me a headache after a while.
There are benefits of writing on the computer with word processing software. The writing process is much faster than hand writing. Making corrections and editing your essay is much easier on the computer. While writing Microsoft Word automatically corrects minor spelling errors and capitalizes words for you. This helps me immensely. When I type I hardly ever stop to capitalize and without spell check I would leave many words misspelled and have many more fragmented sentences. By typing on a computer you can get all of your ideas onto your page without having to be distracted by grammar and punctuation because the word processor will do the work for you and fix your mistakes. I also like that you can highlight and move sentences and paragraphs in a way that you cannot do on paper.
The downside to becoming so used to the computer working for you is when the computer misses your mistakes. The word processing software is not perfect and often misses mistakes that we over look and assume have been corrected. Personally, I struggle with this and tend not to proof read as carefully as I should. Another problem is when you are writing on paper and use improper grammar and misspell words there is nothing there to remind you of your mistakes but yourself. Whenever I write by hand I have to think a lot harder about how to spell certain words. I notice that my friends also do the same thing and we have to ask each other how words are spelt or if sentences make sense. We have become sort of dependent on word processing.
Because of technology my writing has gotten more informal and it's easier to write in a personal or informal tone. Because I use technology so much to communicate to friends and family it is sometimes difficult to transition to scholarly and formal writing styles. This class has helped me practice writing in different tones. I have really learned to write to a specific audience instead of just writing to anyone. We have practiced scholarly writing and writing longer more serious papers than those I had written in high school.