A Response To Bolter’s Take On Technology and Print Media

In Bolter’s article, “Introduction: Writing in the Late Age of Print,” he mentions Frollo in Notre-Dame de Paris viewing the printing press as an end to the church rather than a way to spread the Bible around to many more people and make a way for Christianity to be more accessible to everyone. Frollo said, “This will destroy that.” Many people view technology the same way today. That was the connection he made.

Today many people “think of the computer as their primary medium” and print as a secondary one.  He goes on to say that “although print remains indispensable, it no longer seems indispensable” and “the possibilities of print seem to have been played out.” The fact of the matter is print is at a standstill, while the internet has only begun to grow.  Print is valuable and many writers like to be published in print, but its uses are limited. The internet, while sometimes less personal and desirable, has seemingly unlimited uses.  Even more interestingly, it’s only creating more uses through programming new sites and through new social networking ideas.

I know personally I prefer a printed book if I choose to read something. There is something about reading a book online that is less enjoyable to me. Also, staring at a screen can be bothersome to the eyes. Printed books seem like more of a relaxation and learning experience to me, while online books or any type of online research seems to be bombarding me with massive amounts of information. It’s very fast paced and always changing. That’s why its uses are so great, but it’s also why print is still valuable. The internet is changing the way we get information and the way we write. People want information and they want it fast. The writing has to keep up with that. As for my own preferences, sometimes a quick answer or a document that is on point is a great thing. Other times the sheer amount of information can be stressful online. I’ll admit I’m not quite up on things as far as technology goes.

In his other article, “Writing as Technology,” Bolter discusses the ancient methods of writing before mechanization and how all the advances we have made have allowed for progress. The internet is like this as well. He mentions that the computer has the quality of “rapid and easy change” and that “electronic writing may therefore participate in the restructuring of our whole economy of writing.” He also talks about the remediation, or competition of technologies. Print and online text are in competition. Each has their own benefits, but in today’s fast paced world the internet has far more uses. It can be a bit scary to think of one destroying the other, but both will compete for our preference and accessibility in our future.

You can see Bolter’s “Writing In The Late Age Of Print” here and “Writing as Technology” here


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