Week 5 Reading Response
The Spilka reading covered a lot of ground. The forward and intro were good to put everything into context.
It’s true that the digital revolution has changed everything. After having done the digital narrative about myself, this was another way for me to see how I grew up in tandem with technology. Everything that was mentioned is stuff I worked with, dabbled in, or was away from by one degree of separation. My husband has been a computer guy since I met him, so even if I didn’t work with programs myself, I learned from him what they were and how they worked.
I was just a kid during Phase 1, was in junior high and high school during the Desktop Revolution of Phase 2, was in college and in my first jobs during Phase 3 and was working in advertising during Phase 4. How exciting to be on a parallel track with the technology that has changed the world so much.
In a lot of ways, this article has bummed me out. I am on the wrong end of the seemingly two-pronged path of technical communication. I’m on the creative side that’s being farmed out or shipped overseas. I feel that the creative skills are not valued as much as those of the technical/programmer/software engineer. In some ways even I feel like they have the “money” skills, but I think writing has to be valued differently. To communicate effectively, you need to be able to write clearly. If you want to convey meaning or persuade, you need to have a much more subtle grasp of the English language. Just like some people have talent to program script, some people can see shades of meaning within words that can make the difference between a good piece of copy and a great one.
It makes me worry about the career path that I’ve chosen. If it is of so little value, what can be done to change the field enough to be relevant again? One of the paragraphs that stuck out the most for in the introduction is the section where Spilka asks,
“How many of us fully understand all new types of technology that have sprung up in recent years?…Do the changes mean that we need to abandon skills that we have worked so hard to acquire and to set aside strategies that have worked for us in the past, but that have become outmoded? Has the time arrived that we now need to work especially hard to acquire new skills and to develop and try out new strategies?” (Spilka, p.9)
As the meme says: “Wat do?” http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/wat-do