Learning to love the web

I entered my web page design course in a state of dread — even as a news-Internet student. But the glare exhausts my eyes, I moaned. But I love the smear of ink on my hands as I turn the pages, I whined. But I prefer the scratch of a pen to the click of a key, I reasoned.

Learning to love words on paper and on screen

Clearly, I made excuses for my nerves about web design. I was nervous to muddle through the medium I regularly dubbed a new language — one I refused to learn. Anchor text. Backlinks. Meta tags. Permalinks. Thanks to the class (and a helpful Internet glossary), though, I no longer fear the web. I understand that the web plays a powerful role in the field I love. And, that maybe, just maybe, I can love all words equally, whether on paper or on screen.

The web provides several perks that my beloved paper lacks. I have come to love the impermanence of the web, a feature I once snubbed.

Before web design class, I perceived the web as an impermanent means to show my work. I feared all the ways my work could vanish — a bug, a changed URL, even a hacker. I feared the lack of control.

Today, though, I embrace the same feature I once snubbed. The impermanence of the web allows my work to stay in a state of progress, one that allows my work to develop as I develop my skills and interests. For instance, the web allows me to return to this post and add a word, a sentence or even a paragraph should I experience an epiphany this evening, tomorrow or even a year from now.

Lastly, I love that I can cater the web to my interests and stakes. ESPN knows, thanks to my orders, that I follow the ATP and WTA closely, but I have no interest in the latest NBA trades. I have learned ways to control the medium.

As I laud the web, though, I confess that I love the gray ink a fresh newspaper smears across my hands. I love the swish of pages.

Most of all, though, I love that the words on paper and on screen enhance my world in distinct yet complementary ways.

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