Reading Log–Article 17

 2. Pigg, “Social Media’s Role in Distributing Work”

             The article looks at the ways in which technology and social media has altered people’s work, and equally notable how writing and communication has been transformed by this shift in technology. They have affected the practice of symbolic-analytic work, which is defined in the text as involving creative and analytical thinking and managing complex information. Technical communicators fit clearly into this category, and in the long-term the changes have altered their professional prospects. With statistics showing that workers are increasingly disconnected from desk and office spaces, and with contract and freelance work on the rise on the other, professional communicators whose work is symbolic-analytic often face a dual burden in that they also lack a composing an immediate time and space to conduct their work. Through a series of interviews, Pigg examines the importance of freelance networking, noting that they help writers improve their skills in gaining practice, build and maintain a presence within that community, and circulate their analytical work. The bulk of the article discusses the positives and pitfalls of today’s social media, noting that they affect the day-to-day logistics of writing and their geographic distribution. In order to stay connected professionally, technical communicators must maintain a presence by engaging in a variety of activities. This is done through the eyes of Dave, his experiences being the main basis of the article. She concludes by arguing that embodied practices never remain static, always driving forward with new adaptations. Dave’s story suggests that it suggests social media both extend symbolic analysts’ reach and direct their attention. This coordination has become critical to the complexity of literacy.

I thought the Pigg article was hugely relevant to the study of technical communication, and found myself agreeing with the majority of her observations. The professional world has altered so much within my own lifetime, and I oftentimes do find myself wondering what that will mean for this generation of college students. Some people have told me that doing all freelance work, and having the opportunity to have my home or a Starbucks as a workspace would be advantageous, and in some regards I’m inclined to agree. But in truth I’d enjoy some professional stability, a constant place to call my employer and workspace, and am determined to achieve it after I graduate. The author offered a lot of helpful insight into the world of symbolic-analytic work and the ways it operates. I hope to learn more about this topic and will keep Pigg’s observations in mind.

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