The Cycle of Technology: Comparing the Invention of the Typewriter and the Use of Modern Blogging

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This picture was found on Flickr using Creative Commons. It was added by member, The New Ruffian.

The article we had to read for this week talked about the different impacts of the typewriter on businesses, literature (like memoirs, poetry, and others), and other aspects of life. It got me thinking about how a lot of the initial feelings that people had towards the typewriter first started being used could be comparable to the feelings people have about different blogs.

To start with, the article mentioned something about how the women of the time were able to become typists and became a icon symbol for other women. Basically, these women were held in high esteem, and made other women want to follow their footsteps. Thus, as the article states, many other women followed whatever styles and fashions that the typists initiated. This is similar to how popular bloggers are followed today. There are many different blogging platforms used on the internet for these bloggers to get their messages across to their readers. The posts that bloggers put up are rich in their own ideals, morals, views, experiences, and so on. To be more explicit: their style, their flare, their passions. Think about those bloggers who blog about fashion. They explain what style of clothes and products they wear, when to wear them, how to wear them, how to accessorize, the prices, and so forth. After taking this into account, readers may end up buying whatever was featured on the blog the next time they go shopping for either clothes or shoes. Now think about those bloggers who are social justice bloggers. They spotlight issues that readers have come to take for granted. Readers, once getting educated on a particular issue, may feel compelled to do something about that injustice. They may even start to reshape the way they think about certain things or modify their actions to cause less offense. Therefore, these bloggers- like the typists long before them- have influential power because they are looked up to by people who are reading their work.

Additionally, the articled talked about how the invention of the typewriter made grammar and spelling so important that dictionaries became a valuable tool to have. Just like the dictionary became an important tool once the typewriter was introduced, modern blogging made becoming internet-literate a very important skill. How often is it that we have heard how everything is now on the web, that newspapers and magazines and other forms of print are becoming more and more obsolete? Soon, printed materials will become just as rare as handwritten letters. As the article had said:

The typewriter fuses composition and publication, causing an entirely new attitude to the written and printed word”

Modern blogging is another step in that ladder of fusing different printed works together and presenting it in a new way. Newspaper companies now have blogs that highlight different news bulletins, making it more accessible than watching a broadcast on television or hearing a broadcast on the radio. A lot of magazines- whether they are gossip ones or life style ones- are also following the same path.

In conclusion, after reading the article I could not help but see the similarities between the attitudes towards the typewriter when it first was used and modern blogging today. I like to think of the whole thing as a cycle, a cycle that improves information transmission with every turn it takes. Who knows, maybe some day in our future there will be another method of informational transmission that would take over after blogging. Difficult to picture right now, but can you just imagine it?

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13 comments

  1. Excellent review! You’ve done a great job of covering the main points of Mcluhan’s article. I especially liked the quote,“The typewriter fuses composition and publication, causing an entirely new attitude to the written and printed word.” For me this quote means, that the typewriter revolutionized the written word.

  2. I thought your review was wonderful and concise. It highlighted the key points and I liked how you highlighted (literally) important quotes from the article in your review. The quote you pulled, I felt, was the most important thing discussed in the article and making that a central focus was a great choice.

  3. I thought this was excellent the way you compared it to blogging; there were some excellent points. I liked your insight on fashion and the way trends tended to spread and how they are still seen in popular blogs. This is absolutely true. I liked the contrast you showed between vocabulary being super important. Many others would have said that with the internet, vocabulary is ignored and disregarded but you bring up an excellent point that you must become literate in internet-vocabulary. This acknowledges the internet culture.

  4. I like the quote that you use in your response, I like that is basically says the typewriter is a stepping stone for the future technology that has come about. Although we have come a long way from the typewriter to computers and laptops but the typewriter started it all. Some much has become of it in this day and age. Not only did it help us create newer and better technology but also it made things, such as vocabulary of greater importance. I think it also cause people to really think about what they were writing as well since you can’t delete from the typewriter. Which is one of the main reasons I was born into the newer technology times!

  5. I really like how you talked about the typewriter in comparison to modern day blogging. Technology has come so far since 1960’s and it’s crazy to think how useful a typewriter was at the time. My aunt actually still uses a typewriter and it’s so funny because when she makes a mistake the gets so frustrated by it. She actually puts white out over the mistake and puts the paper back in the typewriter. I also really like how you mention that the typewriter is what started it all and what made technology what it is today. Everything you mentioned in this article really shows how much technology has changed and how advanced it has become.

  6. You did a great job relating blogging to the typewriter. It is surprising to learn how much of an impact the typewriter had on society, so as to blogging. I like how you brought up the concept of printed media becoming obsolete. I can never imagine living in a world without printed magazines, books, and newspaper. Even when I go to class, I like to print out all my powerpoint notes and readings. Sometimes, I believe it is easier to pull out a piece of paper than a laptop. Also, I find staring at a screen all day can be tiring.

  7. It is amazing to see how technology has been advancing from the typewriter to computers that are available today. My parents used to use the typewriter when they were in college and were always frustrated whenever they had made a mistake while using it. I wonder what the next advancement in technology is going to be after the computer.

  8. I never even considered how the typewriter could have impacted the social atmosphere at the time–like drawing women into the work force. It’s so easy to take for granted today that the technologies we consider obsolete caused considerable change when they were introduced. It’s interesting to think that what we’re doing in class is kind of like another advancement that may one day get replaced by something else.

  9. The use of the quote to get your point across was great. I never knew that type writers was used to help create grammar. But hey you learn something new everyday. Great job summarizing Mcluhan’s article, you really brought everything full circle.

  10. This summary did a great job of identifying how the beneficial qualities of typewriting parallel the benefits of blogging. The importance of correct spelling, as you highlighted, is one of the most essential requirements of typewriting due to the inability of backspacing. Backspacing is something that we take for granted, but in reality it is such a luxury when we hold it in a comparative light with typewriting.

  11. Typewriters are such an odd thing, but still pretty awesome, as you outlined above. As someone who has used typewriters quite a lot, they’re not as ancient and horrible as you might think in comparison to a computer. There’s something soothing about the noise and the way it makes you slow down and really think about what you’re typing so you don’t make so many mistakes.

  12. I really like the idea of things cycling through and how blogging becomes a new part of the typewriter experience. I wonder what the new point of the cycle will be? But its interesting how much typewriting comes back into play and especially when we talk about texture, fonts, layout, and space on the page.

  13. I thought you did a really great job of covering the main points of the article and also giving multiple examples of how the typewriter connects to modern blogging. great job!

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