I grew up hearing my mom say, “every mind is a world all its own.” As I worked, learned, and grew through the course of this semester (specifically this class), I have realized more and more how much truth is in those words. In the process of creating my own online presence, I’ve come to find that people consume digital information differently. What I learned about myself as a writer, then, is that as long as I exercise my authentic voice, I will find an audience who appreciates that voice.
In line with this idea of an authentic self, I call upon James E. Porter’s words from “Recovering Delivery for Digital Rhetoric”: “The sincerity of one’s commitment to the appropriate coordination of one’s thoughts, feelings, and bodily expressions are important to rhetorical effect” (209). In channeling this “authentic self,” I am myself a rhetorical being. From this perspective, I feel like how I say something is just as important, if not more, than what I say. I also find that Jean Baudrillard’s “The Precession of Simulacra,” while complicated, is one of the more interesting texts I engaged with this semester. Baudrillard writes, “Something has disappeared: the sovereign difference, between one and the other, that constituted the charm of abstraction” (2). Especially in this current sociopolitical climate, I think it is of particular importance to study how the lines between “reality” and “abstraction” become blurred, especially when that blurring occurs online. Perhaps more than anything else, this is knowledge that I want to continue working with beyond the scope of this semester.
Focusing back on the scope of this semester, I am pleased to report that I feel like I was able to work with all of the concepts that I initially wanted to focus on in the course. I would say that I had the most success exploring visual elements in online rhetoric (my Instagram and website project, respectively, work with this) and developing my “on demand” creativity (again, my Instagram and website project allowed me to work with this). Also, I can happily report that there isn’t anything that I feel like I wanted to learn but didn’t get a chance to, especially since I didn’t really have any expectations of what I would learn going into the course. “New media” was such a broad term that I just committed to being along for the ride from the git-go.
And what a great ride it has been.