More and more people use computers and other electronic devices to gain information. Therefore, there is no need to use print books, magazines or newspaper. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Merely twenty years ago, experts from “Wired” magazine made a prediction that people would not give up printed books and resort to a small screen to read. Today, many traditional bookstores barely survive. It seems everyone uses computers and smartphones to learn about the events happening in the world. Have electronic devices tolled death knell for traditional books and magazines? It is a battle not nearing the end yet.
Admittedly, technology has gained an upper hand to some degree. Most importantly, the capacity is limitless. Wikipedia, for example, contains a wide variety of topics and knowledge that no encyclopedia could ever be mentioned in the same breath. Also, with a search engine or Ctrl+F, information on digital gadgets can be searched, located and retrieved within seconds. Just compare time spent on traditional dictionaries and e-dictionaries when you look up new words. Another significant advantage of the cyberworld is that information updates quickly. It takes at least several hours for the most responsive newspapers to report the latest stories. However, at the very minute a critical football match finishes, the smartphone will push a notification automatically, telling the final result of the match and each player’s performance.
Given these advantages, some people claim there is no need for traditional reading materials. Throughout history, humans have tried to read on stones, bones, bamboo and silk. Now it is high time to say goodbye to paper. However, this is arrogant if we take some minority groups into consideration. Not everyone is conditioned into using electronic equipment. Many people would be alienated from society if the use of printed books is to be terminated immediately. Elders, who are in large part slow learners, cannot read comfortably or access information efficiently on electronic devices, for the reason that they are not familiar with intelligent machines. Also, their vision tends to get poor during the process of aging. It is not easy for them to read small characters on a tiny shiny screen for a long time. Disadvantaged people in underdeveloped areas are also in need of traditional books. Computers and ipads may have been here to stay in Shanghai or New York, but in some poverty-stricken communities, these new inventions are still a luxury or rarity. Books in this case are still the precious source of information and knowledge, which should not be deprived.
In a nutshell, reading is convenient and efficient with the presence of some new technologies, but still, it is not time yet to make printed books history.