2017. Two decades into what textbooks, or e-readers, will certainly declare as the Technology Revolution.
These last two decades, and one new millennium, have certainly included a whirlwind of change and advancements. Change in the way we do business, the way we interact with each other (social media, Smartphones) and the shattering of so many traditions. Technology has certainly fueled globalization and individualism. Nothing or no one, is too far away. The World’s happenings a push notification away. Hearing all of the negativity that happen in a given day on plant Earth, has certainly made a large swath of people think the end of the World is near. But is it really that much worse than millenniums of old? After all, is there anything new under the sun?
Technology has certainly changed the way we interact with the media. See, hear, read, share news. It has bankrupted many magazines, newspapers, printing companies, and is now disrupting Cable Television. The better part of 10 years since Smartphones and Social Media, Companies and brands everywhere are trying to figure out how to connect with the consumer. How to adapt in a globally competitive market. Old school is dead. But is it?
An increasing number of people, after spending over half their daily waking hours on some form of digital device, enjoy a true ‘digital detox.’ The words Digital detox garners 7.3 millions results on Google, and is found as a noun in Webster’s Dictionary. A study a few years ago found that the average person looks at their Smartphone around 100 times a day. Try counting this sometime yourself if you can. I bet you cannot make it thru an entire day of trying to even monitor this. I think in actuality, the average person looks at their Smartphone two to three times that amount a day. It is the way we do business, check the weather, keep up with friends, shop, bank, just to name a few. Not to mention actually talk to our family, friends, and customers. This leads me to the title of this post.
One thing I like to do on the weekend, is read the paper. Yes, the newspaper. Call me old school if you want to. After living on my phone all week long, I actually look forward to reading the Saturday and Sunday paper. Cover to cover. I enjoy relaxing, holding something tangible in my hand, and flipping page by page. I used to wonder when I was a kid, why I would see my grandfather read thru that boring paper all morning long. Maybe I am old for my years, but at 38, I have been doing this now for at least 8-10 years. Even more so now as we have morphed into an all digital world. Don’t get me wrong, I get my news digitally all during the week, but by the time the weekend rolls around, I enjoy putting the phone away, and picking up the hard copy.
I answer a lot of questions from friends and business partners this time of year about the state and health of my business. I own a Scholastic Sales Company. Selling and Servicing traditional memory based products to Schools and Universities across Middle Tennessee. One of our key products, the Yearbook, raises a lot of eyebrows and questions now that we are in an ‘All Digital’ world. Will yearbooks be all digital soon? Has Facebook and Social Media killed the yearbook? Is that a dying product?
Sure, we have to embrace technology. QR codes, and Augmented Reality have allowed us to put technology into print. But in short, no to all of the questions above. This time of year, we ship and deliver yearbooks to most all of our schools. I see the way the book lights up the faces of students, teachers, and administrators as they hold it in their hands. The excitement in the student body, as they thumb thru the pages of a year’s worth of memories. Starts, Finishes, Championships, Defeats, Celebration, Tragedy… Life.
You see, we all have the guilty pleasure of checking our likes, follows, hearts, snaps, retweets. And also the stress of responding, reviewing, acknowledging all the notifications a day on this Digital Planet brings. Sometimes… we just like to sit down, relax, and hold something that is tangible, that we can put down and come back to at our convenience.
If you are reading this, when you put down your phone later, or close your laptop or tablet… pick up a paper, magazine, or Yearbook and thumb thru it while you wind down the day. Tell me you don’t enjoy it. I bet it doesn’t talk back, ding back, or get you distracted with a vibration or whistle. I bet you don’t feel guilted or hooked into picking it up an average of 100 times a day.
So mix and match your digital and print use. Create that balance in the way you consume your information. Your eyes and your mind will thank you. Oh yeah… and Buy a Yearbook!