Maybe it’s okay that print media is dying. Maybe it’s okay that such a timeless craft pre-dating the Gutenberg Bible is slowly disappearing. Maybe our society can survive with a little less tangible paper in our lives. Maybe we could use a few more trees on this planet.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I was fawning over the glossy pages of Architectural Digest and Vogue since before I can even remember. Just like any other young aspiring designer, I was inspired by the colors, photography, buildings, typography, fashion, layout, and paper weight. I lived for turning the pages, soaking in the visuals, and regurgitating the ideas of my predecessors.
Things are different now.
I download the latest version of Architectural Digest each month on my iPad. There was a time when iPads were a new technology just hitting the market and I didn’t see the point of them. I didn’t understand why someone would want to read off a screen when they could easily hold the printed media in their hands.
Well, fast-forward a few years and I’m working at an iPad-based software company and have become accustomed to browsing through my collection of books and magazines on my iPad while waiting for a flight to NYC. I always opt-in to paperless billing and prefer receiving an emailed receipt, whenever possible.
Technology affords our society the ability to move away from our apparent never-ending paper consumption. From minuscule receipts and bills to national publications, there’s almost always a solution these days.
Trust me, I miss the tangible nature of the printed publication as much as the next person. But, these days conservation is pivotal in reducing, and hopefully reversing, the rapidly declining state of our planet.
So what can we do?
We can start by embracing the ever-changing, ever-evolving technological developments that help reduce our consumer paper consumption. Obviously, one person can’t save a forest. But, millions of people who do their part can save a forest.
There’ll always be a place for print media in my heart, but maybe it’s time that it dies and we let our trees live.