The rise in digital media has resulted in the decline of text on paper. This includes books, newspapers, magazines, etc. Hypertext is responsible for the demise of physical text. Hypertext can contain all the text that a book can contain, but it can also contain links to more text. This is what limits the power of a paper copy book, and empowers hypertext to have no limits. In a physical copy of a text, everything that is printed in it is everything it can store and encode. If more information is desired to be added or searched for, it must be found from another source than the book. In hypertext, information can be encoded and a link can be inserted at any point to be clicked on to navigate to a whole new source of information, expanding the depth of potential knowledge in the text.
An article in The 21st Century Text supports my claims by stating that “hypertext has characteristics unimaginable in the world of traditional text… digital codes embedded by an author in a text which direct the reader to elsewhere. This could be to another place in the same document, for example, a reference in a bibliography, or a definition in a glossary. A hyperlink can also establish a connection between documents.” These abilities of hypertext are what make it so versatile and incredibly useful in today’s media. This is how hypertext uses the power of the internet to its full potential.