Largely, technology has been blamed for the lack of writing skills among adults and youths. The emergence of social sites such as Facebook and Twitter are believed to encourage low levels of writings as opposed to the academic writings. Worldwide, parents are complaining of deterioration of students’ performance due to spending lots of time online chatting instead of doing research works. Other people are of the opinion that technology has greatly influenced student writings in a positive manner. The more time people spend online, the likelihood they will come across insightful and educative content. In the paper, a critical approach will analyze the idea of Andrea Lunsford that, the emergence of technology and socialization platforms are promoting writing skills among the young generation.
Lunsford found out that the young people are writing more often today than any other prior generations at about 38 percent of the students’ writings take place out of the classroom context. I do agree with Lunsford statement to some extent, but there is a problem with the kind of writing people are engaged in today. Even though students are writing more today, the quality and levels of academic writing have gone down. In the previous generations, the academicians ensured they followed the strict rules of writing perfect research works, thesis, and projects. Nowadays, one will find most of the internet content not supported by academic peer review boards, as it is merely an individual opinion that is not authenticated. Sometimes, studying in the classroom throughout is boring; thus outside environment will do well to the minds of students. A lot is gained by participating in out of classroom lessons such as observation skills, but keenness must be observed to avoid instances of misuse of academic language. Some of the technology like the scientific calculators have eased the time taken on complex calculations, but on the other hand, have made the students lazy and deteriorated their mathematical writing skills. Additionally, some are decoding the calculators to take advantage of the situations and use them to steal exams by searching for answers from the internet. Some of the academic teaching staff heavily rely on internet writings, which might mislead him/her and thus teach the wrong writing approach to the students. Taking an example of Wikipedia content is written by everyone, some of whom have no knowledge of academic writings. In the case a person uses such information to write assignments or projects, the end result is a neutralized academic work.
Lunsford asserts that continuous writing provides students’ with a different sense of good writing skills. Practicing writing on a routine basis helps the student to improve his/her writing skills. The fact is true because writing skills fall under the category of conditional reflex. The more a person writes, the perfect he/she becomes in shaping the writing abilities. The bone of contention is the kind of writing people are engaged in the current era. Most of the informal writings cover a huge part of people writing time. An example is chatting through social media sites such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter. The kind of chats people write is not guided by academic writing rules, which render them informal. By routinely chatting, definitely will affect the writing skills of a person when it comes to academic writing works. According to the study by Yousaf & Ahmed (2013), prolonged texting and sending messages negatively affect the writing skills of the students in the university. The mind is accustomed to informal chats; thus a person might transfer the informal language to the formal writings. The social sites are a bit addictive and students are likely to spend most of their time chatting and forgetting about improving their writing skills. Some of the editing tools available online are misleading, especially on the grammatical errors correction; thus reducing the academic language of a student.
Lunsford believes that online writing has encouraged better chats and communications, plus the development of tools of writing has shaped people handwriting by making it look neat and smart. The physical writing of use and pen has been compromised by the editing tools. Nowadays, students do not care about having good handwriting because online writing pads will assist them in conveying the message they are putting across. One of the key element of academic writing is writing in a precise and clear manner for the other reader to understand. I believe having good handwriting first is key in shaping one writing skills as opposed to solely relying on online writing tools. Though several writing styles and templates are available online, they create an element of confusion among the students. The writing style one is taught in class might differ a bit with what is available online; thus confusing the learner on what to use. Most of the online debate sessions lack the moderator and there is a possibility of incorrect information being debated by the participants. Lack of strict rules in online writing is a recipe for creating a new form of writing that is unacceptable in the academic world. Truly, the internet is the driving force of pumping lots of reading content, but instituting rules and regulations concerning posting the right information is essential.
Apparently, technology has positively and negatively impacted people writing abilities. Students must take keen on the kind of content that is available online, as some of the information is incorrect. Lastly, seeking advice on the kind of materials to use in the academic work is necessary.
Yousaf, Z., & Ahmed, M. (2013). Effects of sms on writing skills of the university students in Pakistan (a case study of University of Gujrat). Asian Economic and Financial Review, 3(3), 389.
Thompson, C. (2009). Thompson on the new literacy. Wired Magazine,17, 9.