#Whyiwrite – My Passion

Coming from a very large family consisting of five brothers and two sisters did not give me much room for individual space. School was where I was able to amuse myself and express my individuality without my siblings being around. As I think back, I remember the ladybird books. They were the books that were used in my primary school. They consisted of about 36 English language books with whole words that we were taught to recognize on sight. The books were about two children called Peter and Jane and had a lot of pictures to go along with the words. The concept was that the majority of the language that we use in our everyday lives is based upon a few key words. By repeating these words over and over again, I was able to build my vocabulary.


As a child, I would write lots of stories, but today, I still like to write and find ways to help others is the best way I can. That includes writing professional documents that represent my ability comprehensive information. Below is an example a document that I prepared which reflects my passion for writing:

Download (PDF, 424KB)


Social Media’s Effects on Writing and Language

How do I even begin to define language? Dictionary.com describes language as a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition. But I believe language to be more than that. I think it can be viewed as a journey in connecting people, things and giving them an chance to co-exist. As I look to dictionary.com to define writing, I realize there is no true words that can define writing or what has been written or the act of writing. The one word that comes close to writing seems to be magic. Writing is magic because its an art of producing art, despite how mundane that may sound. It’s magic and beauty in the purest of sense.

In Chapter 8 of the Carroll textbook (pg. 253) he says “Both Twitter and the telegraph have been blamed for erosion of language. Email, texting, Facebooking, and chat, too, are likely having a corrosive effect on language.” I was surprised by the bold claim Carroll made about the effects social media has had on writing. When I look further into it, Carroll does have a point. Most of us are participating in emailing, texting, facebooking, tweeting, sharing, instagraming, snapchatting, blogging, and the other mediums and each require the user to be knowledgeable in that space. In addition to the users being knowledgable on how to communicate in these spaces, the way in which they communicate in the space is extremely important. The way in which a composer speaks on a blog or sends a tweet or a Facebook post is entirely different. Sites like Twitter, limit the user to 140 characters to convey his or her thoughts. For this purpose the user must use language that pertains to that audience and the space. By using these many medium they all play a role in our language.  Our communication styles on these platforms significantly affect how we write. Some of these habits make their way into our professional careers or school work. Social media is giving new meaning to writing whether or not we see it as a affordance or a constraint. Even the dictionary has changed. Words like seflie, bruh, fleek, awesomesauce, manspreading, etc.  has someway made it into the dictionary. It is absolutely no doubt the impact of social media and generating new words will have on the way in which we digest information.

Like all things, discourse as we know it, language as we know it, is being redefined by social media. This new development in social media has given new meaning to words such as friend, like, tweet, hashtag. These words are more actionable than before which creates new meaning and new communities. This impressive online community and the way in which they communicate in a short 140 character can have a detrimental effect on language. Many of the our short/crafted responses are limited to characters which leaves many of room for grammatical error for example:


JB Tweet

JB Tweet








The beautiful art of writing and language is suffering due to social media and it’s up to us to be the guardians of our art.

Wikipedia as a Source for Credible Information

When I started college in 2010, the first thing I was told by Professors from my English classes was never to use Wikipedia. The stigma that surrounds Wikipedia is one we are all too familiar with. Before I even began reading the article, my bias about the site was already in full affect. Wikipedia is know as a website that is unreliable, misleading, not credible due to constant changeability of information. I’ve never used Wikipedia as a source for reliable information, I usually used it as a way to find out information on celebrities. After reading this article I was quite surprised by the candor of the author, Purdy. Most articles tend to name all the affordances of the information however Purdy acknowledges how Wikipedia can be used as a source and as a process guide.

In the age of technology, online digital houses are the “Gods” of information. The way individuals access information has dramatically changed due to the new types of technologies. For many people, Wikipedia is the “source” of all their information. Purdy argues that Wikipedia helps to illustrate “recursive revision based on idea development, textual production based on participation in a conversation rather than isolated thinking and research based on production rather than only critique.” With this Purdy gives a nod to Wikipedia as a way for readers to engage with more innovative thinking rather than solely critiquing. I believe this may be the age of reviewing, conversing, revising and sharing information whether it is through online websites or through word of mouth. Even during this moment, in some way I am regurgitating the information I read from the article, analyzing it with my predisposed beliefs, and conversing through this blog and essentially sharing my ideas through this mediated medium which I am completely conscious of doing.

Through doing this I am thinking about the changeability of information through all the websites we are constantly accessing. In someway the information you learn is hard to focus on because it changes and while reading through the articles there are hyperlinks which sends you to another site. I think through this article it has given me a new perspective on Wikipedia as a template of how to write and how to not write– it is almost twisted. I do believe there are certain key takeaways such as conversing, revising, and sharing information which I touched upon earlier that those may be the key to writing.

Wikipedia to me is an online forum that writers and readers can write, defend, and change information like never before. I think Wikipedia may have been one of the first sites to create a such a sophisticated website in which users can search for information and chime in when they have suggestions. In this sense the site does top reading a book, with a book you read and try to create a niche to share your thoughts and hopes the author discovers your group and chime in. With Wikipedia you have writers who are constantly collaborating to create a “meaningful” article. On the other hand, unlike Wikipedia, The New York Times occasionally makes updates to its articles dependent on whether or not the information has changed. But Wikipedia allows an affordance of curating articles with readability like never before.

In essence, the article touched on another important idea that writers “need to share their writing to be successful.” I think for anyone who wants a taste of success or even just want to be apart of a niche should share their talents to learn from individuals within their fields. Writers especially can learn from other writers whether its how they edit or their styles of writing. Through sharing your work you can realize your strengths as well as weakness in your craft and work to perfect it. I think that is what we are doing with our blog posts. Another major takeaway from this article is not to be discouraged about researching information in Wikipedia but to use it as a reference of how to add substance to your research based-writing. I think also within Academia it is crucial to get your articles published to continue the conversation of your particular field.


“Mediated Me”

In Chapter 1 “Mediated Me” examined many aspects of how digital literates affect our human existence. Throughout the chapter, I found myself asking many questions, questions I’d never once considered. There is an emotional impact that technology has had on each of our lives that we are not necessarily aware of. The themes that are prominent throughout the chapter are creating deep relationships, the way technologies have the ability to change how we think, the impact it has on the “being” and it’s moral implications. I’ve always imagined that technology has provided an opportunity for men and women to create “tools” to make life simpler but now I realize that it doesn’t end there. The technologies that are being created have essentially stripped us from our once ethical nature and created a world filled with more complexities than what we could have ever imagined.

The chapter also sparks the idea that maybe the world was created with a dichotomy idea and it was only through technology/tools we have come to realize it. But how did it all start? It started with writing, without the invention of writing, humans would never have evolved to what we are today. The evolution of tools and technologies have brought us to where we are today. Many can argue that there is good and bad to those tools however, I believe everything was created with a dichotomous intention. Maybe the entire world was built upon opposing forces and through writing we are able to recognize those characteristics. Even as I am typing, there is someone who will not agree with my view and maybe that is the way it is meant to be.  With our dichotomous views, we also have the conflict of our social identities that are being constantly challenged. Our egos are being reinforced and being rejected by digital media, it is a vicious cycle that we are all a part of whether or not we choose to partake in it. We cannot escape the inevitable of succumbing to new forms of tools/digital technologies because they have become an extension of us, as Mumford says.

I wonder if there was ever a time of not having to “present” ourselves to one another. Was there ever a time that humans did not wear a social mask, or have the need to have “tools/things” establish validation for themselves and the likes of others. I guess we will never know. . .


Several months ago I wrote a post titled “Traces,” which takes a look at the traces we leave on the internet.


Late Introduction

Family vacations!

Family vacations!

IMG_0365 IMG_9612

Hello all!

My name is Samantha, first and foremost let me apologize for missing our first class! Also a big thanks Fola for helping me set up my openlab account because I’m new to citytech :D.

So a little about myself, I’m 25 years old born and raised in Brooklyn New York. I live with my rather large family My Mom, Dad and younger brother and sister and the most important person in my life my 6 year old daughter Ava. This summer was an exciting one for me and Ava we got to go to Virginia (yorktown, jamestown and norfolk) and the best part of this summer was getting to go to san francisco california!! It was a dream of mine to see the west coast and I finally did. It was pretty great getting to see all the sites of san fran.
A little more about me, I’m an office manager at H&R block which means I’m certified to do state and federal tax returns. I’ve been doing that since 2011 which is surprising because i hate math.

>What your strengths/weaknesses as a writer/reader/thinker?
I believe i am a fairly strong writer but i could use some brush ups on my technique and formatting because i need to run wild with my ideas sometimes and don’t explain them as well as i know i can

>What do you enjoy/dislike most about writing/reading/(critical) thinking?
I love reading and writing and i always have, so when i found out about this major i was super happy and eager to sign up.

>What is your background with using OpenLab & technology more generally (it’s OK if you don’t have any!)?
Up until 6 hours ago i had no idea what openlab was

>What is your sense of new media is [JB, update as of M 8/31: the original reference to “science fiction” was a typo, but I’m still excited to see your responses on it!] (what is it? who writes it? why reads it? what’s its purpose? etc.)? Don’t do any research for this … just state what you think it is, prior to entering the course (think back to the freewriting and group discussions we had in class today, our assumptions, preconceptions, stereotypes, etc.)?
New media to me would be the ever changing world of technology and how much of it we use or rely on in our day to day lives, our news,weather,banking etc all comes to use via media.

>What do we think about when we think about “new media”?
I think about up and coming app platforms and ways we gather and find information.

>What do we think of when we hear the word “new”?
Updated, better, more effective.

>What do we think of when we hear the world “media”?
News, social media, Facebook etc

>Who writes (produces) new media?
Developers, editors, designers

>Who reads (consumes) new media?
Millenials, the 18-25 generation

>Why are you taking this course?
Well one because they told me to (haha) and two because it sounds from all I’ve heard so far to be very interesting.

>Why did you choose to pursue a B.S. degree here at City Tech in Professional and Technical Writing?
Like i said a little earlier i have always loved to write but have never seen a program that focused on something or wasn’t just called “english”

>What are your expectations for this course/semester (what you think you will learn and what you hope you will learn)? Any questions?
I think it will be about media, its delivery and how its writing and message are conveyed to us.