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In Which I Debate Printed Word

Like I do every morning, on my way out the door to class this morning I picked up a copy of the Philadelphia Inquirer and of the campus newspaper; and just like someone does every day, my friend asked me why I still pick up a physical copy when everything is online.
When people ask, I've learned to dodge the question - Oh, well I am a journalism student.

And of course - that is part of the reason; but couldn't I, like they mentioned, read it online?
With digital media advancing the way that it is, and with everything we could possibly want finding its way onto the internet - why do we need print media at all? Shouldn't we read for the sake of reading, not for the sake of the medium?  After-all, I'm writing this on an internet-based journal of sorts.

For me, the answer is simple: because the printed word is a part of our culture.

Worries of computers crashing, Nooks being stolen, or Y2K-esque armageddons aside - years of writing things down in a physical, tangible way has created who we are as a society and a people.  Bookstores, libraries, magazines, classrooms, love letters, diaries - they're built on a printed form of writing, rather than just the writing itself.

We all know that receiving a physical letter in the mail feels better, more exciting than an IM or a Facebook message.  We save those pieces of our lives - the love letters we received, the notes passed in class, the letters we sent our loved ones in another part of the country....we keep them not digitally, but physically because we know they'll always be there.  Because we can pick them up and hold them.  Because they connect us in a way that print on a computer screen does not.

It is not just the stories we tell one another, but the way we tell those stories which define us and bring us together.
We have to embrace the changes that come with time - but that doesn't mean we should let go of what brought us here.

That's why I pledge to read the printed word.

What about you?  Do you pledge to read the printed word, or do you pledge just to read?  Whatever you support...I'd love to know why?


And while I'm on the subject of PRINT media, check out Good Day Sunshine on some social networking sites.