Let me preface this entire rant by saying I was a print journalist. I actually went to school for print journalism despite the entire world telling me that I was an idiot to get into a field that was going to be extinct before I turned 30. Therefore, what I’m going to say may upset and confuse you.
The whole idea of “hating technology” is the reason that the print industry is in such a shit world at this point. Instead of embracing it, print lovers tried to give technology a big middle finger and hoped that it didn’t come back to bite them. Well, it has.
Let’s take e-books, for example. It’s no shock that people are starting to trend away from reading hard copies of books and instead going right to the electronic form of this media.
In fact, last year was the first year ever that the average adult spent more time online than watching television during a normal day. According to a poll taken by eMarketer.com, adults over the age of 18 years old spent over five hours a day. That’s compared to the four and a half hours spent watching television, as well as the hour and a half spent listening to the radio.
Want to know how much time is spent reading print? Thirty-two minutes.
The amount of time the average adult spends reading print media (newspapers, magazines) has been dropping by six minutes each year since 2010, while time spent in the digital world has increased over two hours in that same time frame.
Still not convinced? Well, eMarketer broke down what it means to be a digital viewer. Smartphone use currently sits at one hour and seven minutes while the use of a tablet averages one hour and three minutes. That’s still nearly double the print viewership.
One can argue that the only reason that people are online more is to play Fruit Ninja, or check out their Instagram accounts. Whatever the case may be, it is very clear that we are in a digital age and anyone who believes otherwise probably waits to hear breaking news stories from little kids holding up newspapers, screaming “Extra, Extra!” on street corners (And if you do, I have so many questions).
There are those who shoot down the idea of e-books just because of what they represent: progress. No more paper cuts, no more old-book smell, and no more weekend visits to the library.
I get it. Reading a paperback book is an experience in itself. However, a good book should be able to transport you into a different world no matter what you read it on. If your book isn’t doing that for you, maybe you need to rethink what you’re reading.
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