I have a Kindle, but I can’t tell you exactly where it is. The truth is that, even this digital age, I’m still addicted to paper. As media begins to drift away from mediums that we can touch, feel, and even smell, there are still some of us who cling desperately to words we can quite literally latch onto.
We do have a reason for this though.
Connection – I walked into a coffee shop the other day and was instantly surrounded by dozens of workers – each plugged into a computer via headphones and either lazily browsing the internet or furiously typing away on a Word document. As I drank my coffee and read my book, I felt completely disconnected from all of those around me. A few days later, I entered Church Street Books and Coffee where some people were sitting on their laptops but others were just chillin’ out, reading a book and sipping coffee. Ahhh, finally. Connection. Now that everyone was hiding behind their computer screens, I could go and have a lovely conversation with someone about whatever they were reading or whatever else might be going on.
Remembering – Media professionals read thousands upon thousands of words per day. Most of those words are trapped behind a lighted screen and we blaze through them at rapid speed. We are more likely to remember printed words than digital ones
Credibility – Anyone can publish anything online. Media outlets, whether it be The New York Times or al.com, put out hundreds of articles per day. Because of the sheer amount of media pushed through outlets like these, the content is not always high-end and frequently lacks significant credibility. With print, however, articles may only be published once a day, once a week, or even once a month. The slowness of these articles ensures credibility, as staff writers have time to fact check articles and provide more content editing.
Timelessness – The internet is a big place. Unless an article goes viral, it is likely lost in a sea of online content within a few hours. People don’t stop to discuss an article they read online, because it is unlikely their friends read the same article. Printed media tends to stick around a lot longer. Newspapers stay on the stands until the next issue is released either the next day or the next week. Magazines stick around on shelves for at least a month, if not longer. Many more people will read this printed content than will read a non-viral piece of internet content.
Less Advertisements – Online, we’re constantly bombarded with ads. Buy this. Now buy this, this and this. Pop-ups are everywhere and we can’t ever seem to get rid of them. When we click on an advertisement – whether by accident or on purpose – we risk downloading a virus that will forever destroy our computers. Printed media still has advertisements, but they come without risks. You can’t accidentally call a phone number you saw printed in a newspaper. Printed ads also don’t cover up half of the page
I can’t conclude this article with “less advertisements.” That would be too cold and hard hearted. Instead, I’ll conclude with a confession. I love printed media, because it smells like a little piece of Heaven. Seriously, have you ever just stuck your nose in an old book and sniffed? It’s pure joy. I can’t allow myself into bookstores, even with a shopping list, unless I have hours to spend. It’s not that I will spend all my money (though I’m sure I will), but rather, it’s that I’ll spend hours just skim-reading and smelling every book I can possibly lay my hands on.