Can you see me as part of our increasingly digitized world? Well, frankly, iCan’t

I love my iPad. I’m addicted to my Kindle Fire. I admit it. But is electronic media really going to take over the world? My world? Sure, there is a time and a place for these fantastic new gadgets: the sleek iPad, the glare-resistant Kindle, the smartphone that keeps the news at your fingertips 24/7.

But the touch, the feel, the permanence of printed publications will always hold a special place in my world.

Newspapers are like a history book. Headlines are written with thoughtful attention to detail, the size of the font, the boldness of the letters, the placement on the page. Each element brings the story to life. Imagine a Mars landing and no splashy headline to hold in your hand, to share with your children. Online stories are temporary, there for a moment, then gone as soon as the next event deemed newsworthy crosses the wire.  The iconic headlines for the biggest events in our history would have simply been fleeting images on your laptop.

Electronics are only a single-sense medium. I can’t imagine anyone turning on their iPad and being transported back in time from the familiar scent emitted by a favorite novel with each turn of the page, smelling grandma’s basement and recalling the first time you laid eyes on those words.

Just last week, I had the opportunity to visit with an author who wrote a book I had recently read. He offered to sign my copy but I had purchased the Kindle version. My book remains a standard electronic copy. I missed out on making it my own personal keepsake. He did offer to etch his name on my Kindle, but somehow that didn’t seem to have the same feel.

Newspapers, books and magazines each have individual characteristics that tantalize so many senses. The feel of the pages of a glossy magazine can transport you to the runways of a Paris fashion show or the wilds of an African safari as you dream about the great escape pictured in the layout before you. Each turn of the page opens a door to another adventure, unknown to you until you are let in by the publisher.

For me, the best part of hands-on-print is the ability to share the experience with others. You might argue that it is a lot easier to share a link on Facebook, but on Sunday mornings in my house everyone is jockeying for their favorite section of the newspaper, sharing laughs (or groans) over Billy’s latest exploits or deciding which movie is worth a trip to the theater (yes, we still do that, too).

And my son can’t wait to cut up the sports page to fill his scrapbook with stories about his favorite teams and players. These are the memories that I carry from my own childhood and I hope my kids will carry into their adulthood.

In my opinion, sending a picture to Grandma that was in the newspaper still holds a certain magic. A photo on the Internet doesn’t compare to the feeling you get when you open the newspaper and see your neighbor volunteering for your favorite charity, or your son crossing the finish line in the big race.

The community comes together by sharing the news and your local newspaper brings it all to your door. You’ll get quite a reaction when you send a note or make a call to a busy friend because you saw their name in the paper.

Newspaper is the original social media; there is no better recipe for bringing people together and defining our lives.
Tracy Doren is a local mom, Realtor and longtime Wrangler News contributor.

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