“Tech Geek" And "Fan of Paper" Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Jun 16, 2015
By Kory Bockman
Director, Statistics

As my friends and neighbors know, I am a huge tech geek. I love my smartphone, smartwatch, tablet and desktop computers. So most people laugh when I answer "paper" to the question: "Kory, if you had to pick one thing that represented the best technology, what would it be?" But once they think about what my answer implies and the revolutionary evolutions caused by that technology, they get it. The role paper has played in learning; the passing of information from one generation to the next; and its significance on society and culture is easy to see when you try. There is a need and place for both paper and digital in our lives.

Today though, I'd like to focus on the role paper plays in our personal lives. This coming weekend we will be celebrating Father's Day in the United States and in many other countries around the world. And, much like Mother's Day, there will be a lot of cards presented. Cards, of course, can take many forms. My kids are inheriting my love of technology, so one year, my mother-in-law received an e-card from one of my daughters -- and she was over-the-moon excited to get it. However, as it was in the form of a slideshow, there was no way for her to look at it again or to show it to her friends, which made her anxious. Well, until we printed it on paper. Then she was able to hold it and share it. Perhaps, for those not quite so involved with technology, the idea of receiving a slideshow card from a grandchild might be bold and forward-looking. But for those who daily deal with the ephemeral nature of electronic media and the constant worry of "backing up", the idea of a "crash-proof card" has a lot of appeal.

By the way, my wife also received a slideshow card that year, but she just really wanted something written on paper: something written by hand with pen, pencil, or even crayon. But mostly, she wanted something written with love. This is what I hope for this year and I hope the same for you.

P.S. Just so you know, once I get that paper card, I'll scan it and keep a copy of it with me on my smartphone!