Lab 1 Markdown

Markdown VS Microsoft Word

I have never taken a class in coding or anything connected to the backend of the daily software I use. It makes me feel like I’m only using a limited part of my artificial brain; never questioning how my writing becomes structured. I just simply go to the toolbar and press the B or I. I’ve always preferred the agility of opening Microsoft Word and quickly jotting down my thoughts, but as soon as I start to lay out my finished writing, it becomes complex and confusing. Microsoft seems to have a mind of its own in that sense. We discussed the limitations of Microsoft Word in class and I was able to relate to the complications with exporting Word files and trying to format the words on the page. The interesting thing is that I most likely would not have learned another software, an easier medium perhaps, on my own. Markdown would have continued to be completely irrelevant to my life if it wasn’t for this course. I hadn’t the slightest idea of what it was a week ago. I would have endured the puzzling platform of Microsoft Word without questioning if there was a simpler medium out there. I guess that’s what happens when your strong suits don’t include computers.


Markdown is surprisingly easy to use. Instead of interrupting my thought flow by using the editing bar on WORD, I just keep writing; emphasizing and italicizing words as I go, making it a part of the process. It’s almost as if the distance from my mind to the keyboard has dwindled. Also, being able to say I can handle some coding boosts my technologically unsavvy ego. The feeling writing on Markdown induces compared to WORD ties into the ideas Marshall McLuhan stresses in his book Understanding Media. The medium in which a message is written on makes a difference in how we write, read, and exchange text. As Liu mentions in his article “Imagining the New Media Encounter,” there are a few levels of human interaction with a new medium.

  1. Enchantment
  2. Disenchantment / Critique
  3. Ultimately, Resistance

I’m currently in the enchantment stage of Markdown. I want to use it all the time and it’s exciting to explore. We discussed in class how any new medium essentially reshapes the way humans interact with each other, yet Markdown is mostly changing the way I interact with myself.