Monday, February 18, 2013

Going Paperless

There are more and more places going paperless.  You see it in businesses, banks, agents, even books.  It's a good thing right?  I was led to this website with an interesting graphic about the benefits, almost the inevitability of the world going paperless. In a way I can see it. A futuristic setting where school kids all have their own tablet.  All textbooks and assignments are electronic, all homework is completed and sent in from the tablet.  According to the graphic on that web page 90% of college students already have laptops, plus many with smartphones and ereaders. So this futuristic setting isn't really that far off.

Yet, I personally can't see the world going paperless.  I think we will need much less of it as life, and technology, go on.  But I don't think it will ever be completely replaced. A love note over the computer, while still nice, isn't the same as a handwritten expression of sentiment.  Or is that just my opinion? Just as there are still record stores and people who adore vinyl over cds or mp3s there will always be people who collect physical copies.  My personal library is becoming mixed.  Not only do I have many (a very many, around 700)  physical books, my ebook library is growing also (still under 200, and many of those were free). I love them both.  They have different characteristics and therefore different uses.  So while going digital is on the rise I don't think it will abolish paper. 

But what do you think? 

30 comments:

  1. Interesting Monday thought, Sara. Just a few days ago, I was thinking that eventually physical libraries will be a thing of the past. It would take an entire blog post for me to say why I believe this will happen, so I'll just leave the thought hanging.... :)

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  2. I think that as long as we have things like 'computer glitches', we'll never go -truly- paperless. Hard copies will still have a place as long as electronics are fallible, in my opinion. Interesting thought, though.

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    1. So true. Hard copies do make me feel a little more secure.

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  3. I'll never to paperless when it comes to writing. I compose with pen and paper, and my best editing is done when I print out copy. The rest of the world can leave go on down that road, but leave me the paper.

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  4. The abolition of paper. What an interesting way of putting it.

    I don't know what I think, actually. I just now I don't keep anything except what's in my head, over the long haul.

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    1. I should have used that as the blog title.


      Yes, paper is impermanent. I think that's one reason I like it. But my short term memory has as many holes as swiss cheese so I always carry paper on which to jot down notes.

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  5. I'm with you on the love note thing! I'm sure things will move more and more in a paperless direction, like you've said, but I doubt it will go paperless completely. There's something about pen and paper that can't be replaced.

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  6. Yes, a love note on paper means so much more than a message on a computer. You can hold it in your hands and read it anywhere - even many years after it's sent. I hope we don't go completely paperless!

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    1. I doubt we will, and I agree. I tend not to go back and look at things on the computer.

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  7. The world will always have paper, I think. I hope. Especially when it comes to books. My very favorite books are ones I purchase in hardcover because even gazing at them on my shelf makes me happy.

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  8. I would hate to see us go completely paperless. As an attorney, I can't see all my files ever just being paperless. And I do like print books even though I am reading more e-books. There's something great about picking up a print book and opening it and then flipping the pages.

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  9. When I worked at a college, we were in process of scanning files and going to a paperless venue. I think it's a far better system, but we'll never be completely sans paper, I don't think. At least not in a lifetime that holds my DNA.

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    1. I think in many ways it's a better system. Think of how much space will be recovered if you don't have huge filecabinets taking up so much room. And the computer can make it so much easier to find things. Still, I think the future will hold a blend of the two. The best of both worlds.

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  10. THIS person will always use paper. For one thing, there's something about writing in a notebook that gets my creative juices flowing much better than composing on the computer ever does. Plus, I find the very act of putting a pen to paper to be quite pleasurable... especially if it's a fountain pen. I still write old-fashioned "thank you" and "thinking of you" notes, and when I was Georgia's section manager for the ARRL, every month, I mailed a hand-written post card to each new licensee in the state. On the top shelf of my closet is a box filled with every letter my husband wrote to me while he was in the Army. Seeing his handwriting on those old letters gives me more pleasure than seeing those same words written in an email ever could.

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    1. It's true. It's different to settle down on the couch and read letters. The handwriting and paper gives you a connection to the writer that doesn't come through in an email. If I get stuck I like to pull out a pen and paper. Somehow the writing magic is different.

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  11. I hope not! I still buy the books I love -- they are like friends on a shelf.
    One thing I can't get used to are 'only' online applications taken!
    My sister sent me a hand written letter just this week--awesome!

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    1. I still buy physical books too. I ought to send my sister a letter. I bet she would like that.

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  12. I definitely think it's a good thing, and it'd be really cool in schools, BUT... they better never take away my paper books! I love them! I need them! I can't turn entirely over to ebooks!

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  13. I don't see it much differently than the "paperless office" that's been just around the corner for the past 15-20 years. Even with an incredible amount of electronic documents and workflow, some things just can't be completely eliminated.

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  14. totally paperless? I don't see it happening, but I do know several schools that have switched to ereaders and online classes.

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    1. I think it could be useful for schools. Maybe then we wouldn't have so many problems with affording school supplies.

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  15. I agree. We can't let trees take over the world!

    But srsly. I like paper. The end.

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  16. Paperless has advantages, but I don't trust a computer to safely store all my important information indefinitely. Give me paper any day, even though it too is subject to destruction. :)

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    1. It has it's own fallacies. Which is why I think a combination of both electronic and paper will serve people best.

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  17. While going paperless comes with a lot of environmental benefits, I think it'd be quite awhile before our planet would ever be 100% paper-free. In order for a society to be paper-free, there needs to be abundant resources to support a technological system that would allow its people to easily choose that system over paper. And unfortunately, there are many people around the world who struggle to have their basic needs met, and the paper-free technology that we take for granted might not be as easily accessible to them.

    So that's my long answer!

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    1. Very true that while things are progressing towards electronics in this country there are too many places in the world that are still struggling and growing.

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  18. I think there will always be a place for paper in the world. Especially in learning. I read somewhere that writing something out by hand helps connect it to memory, so I don't know how kids will be taught to write and read properly if all they need to do is type.

    Of course, there's software that picks up handwriting too... hm.

    I, for one, will continue to use paper, because I draft by hand.

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    1. Many kids don't learn handwriting anyway. Even some teenagers can't read or write cursive. I think their lack of knowledge will bring in the electronics faster than anything else. They will never know another way.

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  19. I'd gone paperless years ago, as soon as they'd let me. But this year for some reason, I'm missing the posts, losing them, spending way too much hunting them down. Hmm. You don't suppose it's old age? Gads, hope not.

    As for my ereader, yes, I love it. But I prefer books. I love the feel, the look, the smell. Hope they never get rid of them. Surely they'll continue to make them out of recycled paper, you think?

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  20. I'm not ready yet. Paperless is great - and necessary (for the environment) - for "junk" like receipts and fliers and bank statements and so on, but I still love books and notebooks! And you're right, a handwritten letter or love note is much more meaningful.

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