Digital Reflection

Ever since I was a kid I have always loved to write. I’ve written creatively for as long as I can remember. When I got into high school, I began writing for my school newspaper as I believed that I probably could not get a job in writing unless it was journalism. I ended up becoming the editor for my school’s paper and then I worked part-time as a journalist for my local paper.

I applied to Bonaventure as a journalism major and then after the first semester I switched to strategic communication. It was at Bonaventure that I realized my true passion, which surprisingly, wasn’t just writing. I loved telling stories creatively, not only through writing, but through design as well.

At Bonaventure I began working as a writer for the radio station’s magazine, The Buzzworthy. Today, I’m the director of the Buzzworthy. Being able to write and design The Buzzworthy myself made me realize that creating a product for others to enjoy and understand was what I loved to do. In this way, writing has really helped contribute to my identity as it’s one of my greatest passions.

Today I do most of my writing digitally, while when I was in elementary and middle school, I always wrote my creative pieces on paper before typing it up on a Word document. One of the biggest differences I noticed between writing digitally and writing traditionally was how I felt while writing.

When writing traditionally, I wrote believing and knowing that the piece was only a first draft and I would go back and revise it later before anyone read it. While writing, I felt more connected to the piece as I put pen (or pencil) to paper. Having something physical to hold can make one feel more connected to whatever it is they’re holding. I find this to be especially true with writing and reading.

On the other hand, I find when writing digitally, I become more distracted by other applications on my computer or phone. Also, while writing I find that I’m thinking more about others reading my work. When writing digitally I write as if what I’m writing will be the final copy. I’m more of a perfectionist with my work when writing digitally and this can be a block for the creative mind.

Throughout my college career I have been producing work digitally not only for personal projects, but also for clubs and businesses. The past two summers I have marketed Oswego Harborfest, one of the largest free music festivals in the state. I’ve designed and created programs and posters for the festival, as well as publish to its social media accounts and website. In this way, creating content digitally is my job. The same goes for the Buzzworthy, which I design and write for. The end product of my labor is then consumed by hundreds of people as it is printed and published online.

By producing these works, not only do I benefit from it (as it’s added to my portfolio), but the people who “consume” it and the organizations that I create for benefit as well. My contributions to Oswego Harborfest and the Buzzworthy give the two businesses advertising, in a way. The work that is printed and published digitally and physically bring awareness to the two brands. Those who view and consume my work also benefit in that their minds become stimulated and they can gain information from what myself and others have written.

When creating digital content, I have used various social media platforms including Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube and Facebook. I have also used Microsoft Word and Publisher, Adobe Creative Cloud, Canva, WordPress and more. I have used pretty much all of these digital resources for personal, professional and creative purposes.

Although it seems many people want to jump on the “technology is evil” bandwagon, I personally find the writing platforms I use to enhance my life. Using various tools, I am able to interact with others in ways that I could not if social media and the online didn’t exist. Tumblr and Instagram are probably my two favorite social media platforms in that I can write at length if I wanted to and I am personally inspired by other content creators. Both Tumblr and Instagram have so many different tags that I can find content that I’m interested in easily. In many ways, I use social media as a creative stimulant.

In many ways I am a consumer of digital culture. Heck, pretty much anyone who opens a screen is a consumer of digital culture. I believe I consume the most digitally is when I’m on social media, including YouTube. Those who benefit from my consumption are content creators who receive AdSense and paid partnerships.  Whenever I click on a link that they share or simply scroll past one of their posts, they make money.

So far, digital technologies have played a huge part in my academic discipline and future profession. As I work to become a digital marketer and strategist, I have to use digital technologies every day.