Recently, I was on Instagram when I noticed a conversation in the comments of a post that caught my eye. People were discussing print and the future of it; newspaper, magazines and the like. Mostly everyone was arguing that we should save print, that we should be working harder to preserve it as a medium.
To that I said: why?
It’s not the vehicle of print that is so crucial. It’s the message contained in the vehicle. It’s the words on the page. It’s the articles. The writing. The images.
It’s the message, not the medium.
Do we preserve cave paintings because we are hoping to continue using them as a forms of communication? Do we go back to smoke signals? Do we start using them again because they also need to be “saved”?
The maturity of the internet has created a very interesting phenomenon: romance for platforms has increased exponentially. And I think having romance around platforms is completely fine. It’s normal to want to stick to the vehicle of communication that we feel most comfortable with. Especially when that vehicle is an industry with lots of history.
But you can’t let romance get in the way of progress. To push against the current trends, the current happenings that point to something much larger, will only come back to kick you in the butt later. If you resist change now, you are setting yourself up for failure.
I’ve been shocked by the reaction that many of my contemporaries have to the switch in platforms. Dissing on Instagram. Wanting to keep websites as the main hub. Or even worse: making TV your number one priority. Currently, people with a lot invested in television are sad that Netflix is around.
Newsflash: you guys made Netflix happen. Broadcast television is the reason Netflix exists.
The platform where we deliver our communication is not what needs to be respected.
What needs to be respected is the communication itself.
Whatever form the platform needs to take for us to share ideas, thoughts, best wishes, love — that platform is commoditized. Pencil and paper. The internet. App culture. They’re commodities of the greater thing that is happening, which is communication. Communication will always evolve and find its way to get to us.
There were people that cried about the telephone. What would it do to handwriting?
We have too much romance around the mechanism that delivers information while undervaluing the information itself. And it’s out of the romance of how we grew up consuming it.
Stop falling in love with the consumption vehicle. Start falling in love with what that person is trying to say.
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