Let’s Get Digital

The smell of freshly printed ink on paper is slowly being replaced by the overheating electronics that the world now depends on. But does it really matter where you read the news as long as you get it? The shifting to electronic subscriptions has caused an ongoing debate about the survival of printed papers. Before choosing your preferred way of reading, you should be looking at the positive and negative affects of what going online can do for you, the environment, and the world.

The effects of going online have affected many areas of our everyday lives, the growth of businesses, and the survival of the environment. Waking up in the morning, it used to be the norm to get up, put on slippers, and sluggishly make your way outside to grab the paper that is nowhere near your front porch. Since many papers have been going online, now you don’t even have to get out of bed to read your daily news. It’s so much easier to carry with you on a train ride to work than awkwardly smacking someone next to you when you turn the page. The news itself is more up-to-date on current events because online articles can be changed constantly. A negative that many people find with online reading is that you’re no longer holding the actual book or paper in your hands. “It is good that a lot have newspapers and books have gone online. Many people are more focused on the internet than physical objects. With the information online, people at least get a sense of what is going on in the world. I personally prefer print because it’s more personal. It’s something tangible, something real,” states 12th grader Sam Balistreri. Also, many health experts have found that prolonged interaction with a bright screen can cause headaches, blurry vision, upper body pains, irritation of the eyes, trouble focusing, and an increase in sleeping issues. If you’re reading the latest sports scores on your Samsung or finishing a novel on your iPhone before bed, the bright screen will suppress the release of melatonin which makes you fall asleep, but we’ll leave the official diagnosis to the professionals. Some people have no opinion about going online unless they can no longer choose how they want to read. “I have no direct problem with the rising popularity of e- books. I personally prefer to physically hold a book and turn the pages. Often a book serves as my escape from the constant staring at screens we all do whether it be computer, phone, or T.V., so in a way the e-book defeats the purpose. I’m pretty unaffected by whether or not books become most popular online because I cannot see them completely abandoning the physical format in my lifetime. They still sell records for example even though the music industry is largely digital downloads now. So, as long as I can still manage to get books in physical form, the most popular format for them doesn’t really matter to me,” Tom Sclafani, a 12th grader, says. The plus sides of going online for people is that basic subscriptions are free, but print newspapers lose money. The loss of money leads to layoffs in the journalism field. The decrease of paper waste is also helping the environment because they don’t end up in landfills. For English teacher Mrs. Blumm, going online arises some concerns for her as a lover of reading.  “I think it’s inevitable [that papers are going online] because technology is now King. My only concern is that, regardless of the platform, that people are no longer reading for depth. My fear is that when you’re reading online it’s only for a quick surface read. I read all my newspapers online. I read all my Times online. I no longer get any actual papers anymore,” says Mrs. Blumm, tenth grade Humanities teacher.

The effects of going online leave both positive and negative impacts, but it is ultimately your choice to make. However, before making the choice about whether or not to hit that subscribe button, consider all of the effects. Just like a lot of the papers in the country, our very own Paper Lion is also going online where you’ll find articles on all sorts of events from our school and the world. But there is no need to fear! We will still be publishing print versions of the paper. So check out our new website at www.paperlion.org, but also keep an eye out for our quarterly paper in your English classes. So turn off your apps, start reading, and get involved!


* You can even add us to the home screen to your mobile phone: this site will function as an app!