It’s 2012! Alrighty. A new year. Twenty-Twelve. Two Thousand and Twelve Years.
…What? Two Thousand and Twelve? Shouldn’t we be further along by now? I know we’ve got social media down pretty good, what with the facebooking and the Googling and the ever popular #hashtagging. But why aren’t we driving hovercraft and fighting with light sabers? Where are the Willy Wonka style gumballs that taste like a four course meal? Where’s my vacation on the Moon? The best we’ve really managed to do is begin the ending of print media as we know it. With all these crazy Kindles and Nooks and ipads…Newspapers are definitely in for it. And books! I mean, I think books will always have their own charm and appeal, because they’re books. And lets face it, yes immediately downloading a new book you’ve been dying to read can be rewarding. But it’s not the same as making a special trip to the store, searching out the book you’ve been daydreaming about all week, pulling it off the shelf and hugging it like it was an old friend. True bibliophiles know what I mean, and I think there are more of us than anyone really knows. And as an author, where would the fun be in scrolling through Amazon to find your book, rather than going out to the bookstore to find it sitting up front, or in the “employee favorites” section? There’s no thrill in that! Picking it up, smelling the pages, having people ask you to sign it for them. No, I think books will maintain some of their original grandeur.
Newspapers though…they’re just like early social networking. What with the want-ads, the classifieds, the Op-Eds (Which by the way, surprisingly few of my peers understand the meaning of). Clipping out big stories or pictures, pasting them in a journal or a scrapbook to remember or show off to your friends. Newspapers were like the original craigslist/facebook/twitter. Just slower. And messier. I won’t miss the dirty newspaper fingers. But let’s face it, in order for media companies to keep up with technology and their customers, they’re going to have to publish electronically. Which pretty much all of them already do. I imagine cutting out the need for paper/ink would save companies some money. Plus, with everyone on their computers/phones/ipads/ etc ALL the time, news is just newsier online. We are instant gratification lushes, and waiting for the evening Newspaper is just not going to satisfy us.
So, as we ring in the new year, we should also begin saying our farewells to newspapers. I’m not saying I like it, but I am saying it seems inevitable. I’ll have to find other things to imprint on my silly putty.