As the world continues to modernize, technology has become ever-present in our lives. Inherently, our means of communication have changed as technologies have been introduced to us. Not only that, but the ways in which events and accounts are recorded and shared has also changed. That being said, the entire genre of creative nonfiction has been altered by technology. Memory is now in competition with social media and news outlet accounts of events. It can be hard to find the truth among thousands of different accounts of one instance. Some of our deepest, most heart-wrenching conversations have been held over text, completely erasing the author’s ability to describe time and space of face-to-face conversation. Our encounters with each other may be diminishing, and even though we have the greatest access to communication we’ve ever had, some would say that we are at the greatest disconnect of all time. In some ways, technology has impeded our ability to write powerful nonfiction pieces.
However, technology has also introduced certain benefits to authors. Can’t remember specifically what a place looked like? Odds are, you can find it on Google Maps street view. Can’t remember what a speaker said verbatim? The speech may have been recorded and uploaded to the internet. Can’t find a juicy descriptor? Online thesauruses will solve your problem in seconds. Students nowadays can write and submit entire essays on their phone. Writers can jostle down observations in their iPhone note pad and refer back to them when crafting a piece.
Whatever your take, however you look at it, technology has certainly changed the way in which we write. I would say creative nonfiction is the genre most significantly impacted by the exponentially increasing role of technology. As part of the 21st century tech era, we as writers must find a way in which we can balance technology in our craft as a writer. It’s up to the individual the extent to which they choose to rely on technology to alter their writing process. There are ways in which we can make it work for us, making the genre stronger and more robust than ever.