In my personal and professional life, I pretty much choose digital over traditional media every step of the way. I don’t have cable TV, I watch everything digital. I stopped listening to the radio, shifting to podcasts. Most of my news consumption is digital as well. And most long form reading happens on my Kindle.
Everything is on demand and in most ways, that’s amazing. I don’t want to waste my time channel surfing, nor do I care to consume a bunch of irrelevant ads unsuccessfully vying to get my attention.
There are two downsides to my media consumption habits, mostly related to news consumption.
1. It’s way too easy to jump between digital media. Distraction is rampant as my mind wanders while guiding my fingers from website to website. My ability to retain information is certainly at an all time low.
2. To me this one is an advantage in every media except news consumption. I only consume the content that I want to consume. All my reading is custom tailored to my interests. That’s spectacular. Except it’s not, because I end up only learning more about things I already know a good bit about. It’s like living in the same place all your life and never leaving it because you like it.
So, a couple of months ago I started reading the newspaper again. Every day. I read the Wall Street Journal because the New York Times doesn’t deliver here in Montana. And because it’s free as I use airlines miles earned through various travel hacking schemes.
Every morning I wake up, make my coffee and read yesterday’s news in print. The technologist in me cringes. The human in me smiles.
Reading a good print newspaper is for my mind what travel is for my soul. You never know what you’re going to learn.
I like that.