What is the screen as an environment? How does the screen evoke the semiotics of space?

The screen is our window into another world. It is how we see the vastness that is the internet. Anyone who makes a website has to understand the concept of space since they have to know where to place what they want seen. Afterall, the screen is a set size, and if you do not take that into account, your site can look huge and unwieldy. No one wants to go to a site and see a scroll bar on the bottom of the page because that means that the viewer has to constantly be scrolling from side to side to see if anything extra is there.  Tablets are also expanding on the screen’s number of uses. They use the screen as a controller, allowing touch to manipulate the device in a simple manner that reduces the number of peripherals needed to explore the world that the screen shows you.

The screen is also fundamentally different form the page in that it is fluid. Nothing on a screen is permanent and so one screen can show a multitude of books or other pieces of information, while a page will always show the same finite amount. The fact that it is forever changing makes it seem more like we are looking at a huge map through a microscope. It is so vast and yet we can only see a small portion of it at a time. However, we enjoy feeling like that about the internet, but a single page should feel like a single page and be easy to navigate.

The screen has evolved from the page into a more fluid and dynamic format, and yet it has also devolved back to the reading format of the scroll. While people still separate their writing with different pages, there is no set length for a page and so the same problem that scrolls had (being incredibly long and having to scroll top to bottom constantly to look at references) can reemerge. While it is true that if you are using a standard computer there are functions to quickly find certain sections of a page, but that is not a function of the screen itself, eg. you cannot press CTRL+F on an iPhone. Will it change how people write? I think it already has.

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