by Hannah Bohn
Photo courtesy of Anh Nguyen
It is no surprise that amidst the era of 24/7 accessibility to the online world, the average American spends about six hours and 42 minutes on the internet each day. The internet is undeniably a helpful utility that provides instant access to a sea of information and a network of communication. Working as our own personal assistant, in a way, the web is a viable resource.
We interact with our screens more than some of us would like to admit, and one of our most compulsive habits is the way we use to the internet to aid our writing. Whether it is writing a paper for class, editing a resume or sending an email, we work hand in hand with our devices that supply us with advanced short cuts and tips.
Our dependence on the internet is like a support system; we are tied to it, relying on its help in order to carry out the tasks that confront us. The electronic platforms we use for writing, such as Pages or Microsoft Word, are constantly modifying the ways we form sentences to produce the highest quality of writing. These programs correct our mistakes and offer infinite diction alternatives in such high-speed fashions. It happens so fast that we cannot actually process the adjustments made or learn from our errors.
These systems do not teach us how to be better writers, but rather decrease our ability to write autonomously and deepen our reliance on the internet’s services. Do we ever wonder how dependent on technology our writing really is?
Referring to the internet to enhance our personal dictionary and elevate our phrases is common and familiar, but doing so can severely influence the capacity to which we express our individual voice.
The underlying issue lies in whether there is anything we produce entirely original if we extract so much of what we write from the support of the internet. Throughout all of the Google searches, suggested synonyms and countless journals of research and background knowledge, we cut corners in order to produce the fastest material. In the process, we lose sight of our authenticity as writers.
The only notable counteraction to this phenomenon can be found in writing more often on paper, projecting our thoughts and ideas in an original way that manifests our creativity. Along with this, we should build the tendency to turn toward the wisdom of books and invest in actual reading rather than skimming online articles for our desired information.
Writing with a paper and pen— although less practical in our digital age— allows a writer to generate material based completely on the content of their own mind. Then, we can pull phrases from the vocabulary residing in our heads and select a word choice that aligns with our individual styles as writers. This practice can elevate our writing skills and develop a stronger sense of personal knowledge.
Our incessant and addictive interaction with the internet when writing steers focus away from uniqueness and originality. This is a dilemma that every writer should be conscious of in order to preserve their individuality— in a buzzing world of mass production and boundless ideas, we should never jeopardize our authenticity.