Don’t get me wrong (okay, get me wrong. I don’t care.). I find Apple Notes very useful for making To Do lists. But I’m not giving up on paper. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be had when you make a list and then cross things off on it. All those strike throughs add up to some genuine sense of accomplishment. Erasing items on an Apple Notes list isn’t quite the same.
And since we’re talking about the value of paper over digital, let’s not forget the page turning pleasure of a real book versus tapping a screen to get the next “page” on a Kindle or IPad. I can go with paper or digital depending upon the circumstances. Paper books require decent lighting and maybe that doesn’t work in some situations (airplanes, beds, cars, etc.). But you have to acknowledge that reading a book in a brightly lit easy chair or better yet, on a sunny porch or deck is still a special pleasure.
Journals anyone? There are still a lot of people keeping journals (I see you!) in notebooks and Moleskines who could easily find smart phone and tablet apps that are specifically made for that purpose. The apps do offer some special features such as the addition of digital photos, audio recording and links to social media. All very nice but not as special as writing it out longhand with an ink pen, and then storing that journal book in a drawer with many prior years’ journals.
Then there are the maps. People used to pore over a map before embarking on a trip. Remember AAA TripTiks? They still provide them but most people download the digital version from the AAA website. Now it’s just easier to dictate the address to your smart phone or car map app and let the anonymous voice tell you where to go and when to turn. That means you miss the entertainment value of seeing a paper version by which you can appreciate the neighborhoods, towns and states that might be passing through.
I can hear the digerati saying, “Think of the trees that are being saved by using digital devices instead of paper.” Fine. I’ll acknowledge the savings, but climate change is most likely killing them even faster, so in the end, the saving part is not so much.
In the meantime, let me know when there’s a digital wrapping paper to cover a birthday present.
Jay Harrison is a writer and creative consultant for DesignConcept. His mystery novel, Head Above Water, is available on Amazon and Kindle. You can also visit his author page here.