Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Teacher Woman: Notes on the Internet
I'm employed! I have what in teacher lingo equates to a highly-fulfilling, part-time job without benefits: I'm an adjunct. And, although I would never disclose details about the classroom, I have to say it's a job that I already love because I am in a position to teach others how important and rewarding the craft of writing, not to mention the prerequisite for excellent writing: a love for reading, truly is to future successes.
It's apparent, already, that the value of writing skills is more important than ever before, especially for young people, who will be doing more internet communication (written communication!!!) than any previous generation.
I've read many articles about the perils of high internet usage, many of these articles by writers who have a sort of Chicken Little worry that the instant gratification of online publishing might be a hinderance to the quality of written art. To me, however, this is silly. What the internet will provide, and has already begun providing, is greater access to written communication, across social and economic borders. For this reason, the benefits far exceed the costs.
Here's my thinking: What online business and social interaction mean to society is that the gamut of opportunities to make money, to express beliefs, to tell personal tales and make enterprising advancements are now available to anyone with access to a computer. Moreover, these opportunities require, more than ever, a competency of language and communication that goes above and beyond the norm. True, it also means that a lot of arguably bad writing will see online print, but let us not forget that if we see bad writing, we stop reading. What this means is that those who work diligently toward an exceptional level of written communication will now have more access to a platform and audience of folks with whom they can share their stories.
It is my feeling that a person's ability to compete in business, be it writing or otherwise, will be forced to rely more heavily on the merit of written communication skills than on predetermined resources. In other words, the best writing will prevail and those who choose not to challenge themselves to excel and stand out will not be read. So the sky will only be falling, in a sense on those who don't develop a love for reading and writing. So there, perils averted.
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