Is old media really dead already?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: March 31, 2012

Despite my adoration of technology and the future, and the simple fact that I can’t wait to have even more ridiculously cool toys to play with at any given moment, I’m finding that my curious place between the “digital age” and “old media period” has me scratching my head more often than not. You see, I’m a proponent of the future, of the condensed and combined. I want one gadget that does everything, instead of having to have three or four different devices that do one thing well. But, at the same time, I still carry around a moleskin notebook, lined, with a pen. I still write by hand every single day, and I don’t think that’s something that I can ever give up.

I own a Kindle (with books that I actually read), but carry four physical books with me at all times.

Where I live, the Barnes and Noble has recently closed. Interestingly enough, this has nothing to do with eBooks dominating the scene, or anything like that. Just a leasing agreement with the mall, where the building was located. But, each time I go to the mall and look at the empty carapace where all my favorite books used to be, I can’t help but think about the digital age, and how everything is changing. How, in pretty short order, companies like Apple and Google are doing everything they can to make sure that our hands are not filled with physical books, or notebooks or sketchpads, but instead with digital renditions of those things.

I’m one to say that that isn’t a bad thing, because those digital representations of those things we are giving up are really, really fun. But at the same time, I miss the those things. I don’t even remember the last time I picked up an actual newspaper, because I read the news on my phone, through applications.

I sketch in that aforementioned moleskin notebook from time to time. Nothing to brag about, but I like to do it. Back when I was in high school I used to draw a lot, and so it’s something that I like to do from time to time. Having that notebook makes it possible. But, while I used to think drawing on an electronic device would never be something I would want to do, that suddenly changed earlier this week when I saw Paper for the iPad unveiled and shown off in video. That single video, which showcases sketching and writing, made me start second guessing that state of mind.

No, sketching, or even writing, won’t be the same on a digital device like a tablet, nor will it be that accurate. But, I can’t help but want it. I can’t help but want to jump into that format, even if I’ve been trying to stay away from it. Maybe it was the presentation of the video itself that caused me to change my mind, and when I get the product I’ll realize that sticking to a physical sketchbook is the right way to go.

Right now, though, I want Paper, and I want to give it a shot.

While I can’t wait for the future to show us what it has in store, and to give us so many new toys to play with, I can’t help but feel almost nostalgic for what is being left behind. What we are all trading it for. Still, I’ll use those new toys, keep those few pieces of the history kept with me, and keep moving forward.

Is there any one piece of old media that you still use every day, or have you gone completely digital? Let me know.

Products mentioned