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Cyber Culture: The Future Of Print

1692 words - 7 pages

When we think of technology, what often comes to mind are televisions, communications devices such as cell phones and satellites, computers, and different modes of transportation. However, there are other ways in which technology is applied, one of those being the Internet and its various components including email, chat rooms, and search engines. The list of uses for the Internet is innumerable and many corporations and universities are forcing people to make use of it. But no matter how much this new technology is forced on us, people are still resistant to it. As George Landow, Professor of English and Art History at Brown University, states, "Technology, in the lexicon of many humanists, generally means 'only that technology of which I am frightened'" (Landow 218). Such resistance is unfortunate because the generation of online technology is here. Whether we have accepted it or not we are "twenty minutes into the future" (Landow 214). Books are no longer the sole resource for information gathering and communicating. A whole new system for conveying information has taken place. "In many ways, we have, for better or worse, already moved beyond the book. Even on the crudest, most materialist standard involving financial returns, we no longer find it at the center of our culture as the primary means of recording and disseminating information and entertainment" (Landow 215). Cyber culture, particularly Internet phenomenons such as online journals and email, have enhanced the way we work with writing and changed the way we write.

For instance, references such as online journals and magazines have facilitated researchers in numerous ways. EMU's online database alone contains a library of information on topics ranging from business and corporate information, to education databases, to scientific medical and health related studies. Being able to access this information has eliminated much time involved in researching evidence for papers. With the click of a few buttons, the databases automatically retrieve a list of archived information relative to almost any topic a student would need. This eliminates running from the library’s computerized index, to the bookshelves, to the checkout desk or the copy machine in order to obtain information. In addition, assuming there are no faulty internet connections, online references are always available which eliminates having to wait for books and articles to be returned for use by the next patron.

Although the research process has been facilitated by this aspect of cyber culture and has had little effect on how we actually write, it has changed the amount of evidence students are willing to cite in their reference papers. Students are probably more likely now to cite more references in their papers seeing as the information needed is more easily accessible. It used to be that when teachers told students to cite references they had to force students to include an online reference. Now, online references...

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