Print media isn’t dead – yet.
Though, it is fair to say that print media is not the giant it once was in our society. Many people use cellphones, computers, or tablets to access books or newspapers. I do prefer to read my news online, but I vastly prefer a physical book over a screen.
Printed media gives us a physical marker of our progress. When I read a book, I can see the progress I’ve made, and I can see how far I still have yet to go. I can feel the pages between my fingers – thin, dry, yet filled with enchanting prose. Staring at a screen cannot recreate this feeling of connection you get from a physical copy.
A survey from Two Sides reveals that, “Survey highlights that 88% of respondents indicated that they understood, retained or used information better when they read print on paper compared to lower percentages (64% and less) when reading on electronic devices.” (2015). Clearly, print media provides better information retention than online mediums. The survey also showed that “81% found printed media more relaxing to read, while 62% of mobile/smartphone users (rising to 73% among the 18 – 24 year olds) were concerned about how these devices were damaging their health (eye strain, headaches, insomnia).” (2015). I know that after I’ve been on a computer or on my phone for a long period of time, my eyes start to strain and I sometimes get a light headache. Reading online may be more convenient, but it lacks the depth that a physical copy provides.
We are privileged that we get the choice between online or printed mediums, as it is a choice many individuals don’t receive. Online mediums are not globally accessible. In many places, print media is the only form that is easily available. We are lucky that there are so many forms made readily available to us, and no matter which medium you prefer, remember to appreciate this simple fact: that we have options.
Print media will survive as long as there remain consumers who demand it.