Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The paper principle.

Many organizations have been making a concerted effort over the last few years and decades to eliminate paper.

We no longer get paychecks. We can check, but don't, our direct deposits online.

We no longer get memos on our desks when important agency news is announced. People we never talk to send us emails we never open.

Even when we present print ads--which are often read on paper media--we show them on flatscreen monitors, ignoring how dissimilar looking at an ad on-screen is like looking at an ad in a magazine. (So much for our concern with user experience.)

And many of the companies who hold us in their extortionate grip either because they're near-monopolies or because they charge you to leave them, seek to charge us for sending us bills on actual paper.

Further, paper-based institutions reel. The post office is bankrupt, or nearly so, and few newspapers are what used to be called going concerns.

Well, let me say this.

I like paper.

I like my paystub in my hands not on my screen. I like to hold memos in my hand and actually take a moment to read them. I like to see on paper with ink what I am being charged.

The real nail in the paper coffin isn't its lack of utility or its environmental unfriendliness. I don't even think it's its cost relative to pixels. I think paper is a commitment that most people and companies don't like to make. It has a stature. It demands a thoughtfulness. It must stand up to additional scrutiny.

I like paper.

It's simpler.

It's clearer.

It can be held.

It's better than it's digital alternatives.

And I miss it.

1 comment:

glasgowdick said...

I'm printing this out and tacking it to the wall in my office. Oh wait, I'm a freelancer and don't have an office. D'oh!!!