Printed Media or Digital – Oh the Conversations that Ensue

Printed Media or Digital – Oh the Conversations that Ensue
Printed Media or Digital – Oh the Conversations that Ensue
  • Printed Media in My Hand?
  • Digital Media on My Devices?
  • Audio Media in My Ears?
  • Maybe a Place for All Forms?

Recently, Kevin Courtney posted an article in the Napa Register, Our Dilemma: Print vs. Digital, January 23, 2016.

For me there is no dilemma; and in fact his article prompted me to once again begin my Napa Register subscription after a four-year hiatus. Unlike Courtney, who can read the paper on his digital devices, I cannot. For me, by the time I have read 100 words, there is a word to look up … or a statement to prove … or a comment that surely was said before, but by whom? And Audio Devices? WOW they force me to stop, start, repeat.

The question of paper or plasma is quite the subject of discussion of late. It seems our paper brain and our digital brain is not the same thing. Read more here:

“Neuroscience, in fact, has revealed that humans use different parts of the brain when reading from a piece of paper or from a screen. So the more you read on screens, the more your mind shifts towards “non-linear” reading — a practice that involves things like skimming a screen or having your eyes dart around a web page.”, says Editor T.J. Raphael.

On a digital device it is easy to navigate to the bowels of the internet to look up answers, wandering first for one answer, than another – soon my finger has pushed 20 clicks beyond the article. Time is up. Work must resume and, alas, my daily newspaper has not been read.

When holding a paper, there is a discipline. Taking the train from DC to NY, in my early career life:

  • We folded the paper in half, and in half again;
  • then in a column, clutched ever so close
  • to prevent any other eyes from reading MY paper

In the Midwest reading a paper was an entirely different event. During my career in Illinois, the paper was gregariously read [on planes, trains and the Chicago ‘L’] as if we were above all in the land – arms stretched wide. In fact, we encouraged sharing sections of the paper. Beyond the art of holding the paper, there is the issue of our ‘bi-literate’ brain. Dr. Ali R. Zoromodi says, “The problem is that many of us have adapted to reading online just too well. And if you don’t use the deep reading part of your brain, you lose the deep reading part of your brain.”

So what’s deep reading? It’s the concentrated kind we do when we want to “immerse ourselves in a novel or read a mortgage document,” Zoromodi says. And that uses the kind of long-established linear reading you don’t typically do on a computer. “Dense text that we really want to understand requires deep reading, and on the internet we don’t do that.”

The bottom line for me in the discussion of Print vs Digital is:

  • Digital is the urgency for facts and information from the internet, all the while reading it in Twitter, bits and snips of information. When using digital products to read, my brain becomes a Concord Jet at Mach 1 to devour/scan/summarize then plunge to another page.
  • Print, however, is lazing with a cuppa Joe. My brain calms, enjoys, and contemplates at a deep therapeutic level.

Yes, today I received my first printed Napa Register in four years. It was double bagged due to the rain. What a great paper carrier I must have! Quickly decompression and relaxation ensued, as my cuppa Joe and I parlayed a rendezvous into deep reading. What are your thoughts? Print? Digital?