Final Draft: Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind

My digital essay is about our place on the spectrum of non-digital to digital transition, with basic focus on book to e-book transformation. It’s about our imminent encounter with purely ebook reader generations who stand beyond this transitional spectrum; and about being encountered by them. By elaborating on our status as Digital Immigrants, this essay challenges the definition of  Digital Natives and highlights the digital generation gap that would occur between us and our students in near future. One of the main concerns is the adaptability of our non-digital skills ,of reading and writing, in our future digital classes and the possibility of using our unique background as an active knowledge rather than passive nostalgia.

Through our Digital Writing course, I have become a true believer in Digital Revolution. As a big fan of books who is becoming a small fan of ebooks, I have been observing and studying undeniable reasons, information and data that confirm the ultimate mastery of ebooks over books. I have started to believe in ebook revolution in the core of Digital Revolution. I have been thinking about digital generations who would start reading on screen rather than page, and about a hypothetical, but highly probable, time in near future that I should be teaching them. Therefore, I started this essay.

books

This is not a linear essay, it has not been written in a linear way either. The reader can start or stop reading it on any topic circle. The very last word of each post is linked to another post and by following them one could have a circular reading of the whole thing. But it’s not necessarily needed. I wanted to simulate the closed circle of non-digital texts by trying to keep my reader inside the circular blog. Therefore, I have not provided any external hyperlinks in my essay. On the other hand, I have been dealing with the playful but distracting nature of digital text. I have indulged myself with the pronoun “I”, personal references, colors, pictures, single line paragraphs, short block quotes, etc. It is fascinating to be able to adjust the form to the content.

The flexibility of digital space turns to be tricky. I spent a lot of time looking for an appropriate medium, before choosing the WordPress, and I tried to improve the aesthetic quality of my blog, after choosing the WordPress. Dealing with limited free options and their disappointments, I downloaded several harmful programs by mistake! My digital essay experience tells me that a digital author is not only a writer, but also a painter, musician, researcher, web designer, photographer, and computer programmer! I enjoy being all these but it would be exhaustive and also impossible. Moreover, as I was composing a non-linear work, it was difficult to move forward without losing the focus. I had to look at each post as a potential introduction, body or conclusion as my reader could read each post randomly. Although there are just six entries in my essay, the experience has been like walking into a labyrinth.

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