Markdown changes the way I view word documents and data I am producing. My computer is filled with word files that appear as a single file or document. While I knew there was more data and information being coded than what appeared on my screen when writing in Microsoft Word, our class introduction to Markdown brought up the topic in greater detail than I had previously considered. Realizing there is information coded behind all text, not just word documents, is an important part of understanding the technology that is text. How things are written affects how they are read. In Markdown, this is simply shown in how typing asterisks and parenthesis appears as italics and links to the reader.
Markdown requires the writer to include formatting in their text. Style becomes part of the message when it is written into the text rather than applied to the text. Markdown both simplifies how the writing process is encoded and requires more awareness from the author during creation.
McLuhan writes in Understanding Media that “the effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinions or concepts, but alter sense ratios or patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance.” Writers have become so used to user-friendly word documents that how the text and format is recorded is often forgotten. There is more that makes up the text than what is shown in a word document. The familiarity to microsoft word documents emphasizes how automatic and comfortable its use has become.
In Imagining the New Media Encounter, Liu writes that new media “is the concept under which we now organize and interface with the current configuration of technology, communication, and computation”. Markdown changes the way the user interacts with typing and formatting. It simplifies the writing experience while bringing the user closer to the creation of the text as a whole. The economical file created in Markdown is also appreciated as computers are continually stuffed with various files as our lives become increasingly dependent on our devices1.
- While writing this entry, I referenced the markdown wikipedia page.
- Here is a picture of another Markdown syntax guide I found on Google
Computers, phones, etc. ↩