Saturday, May 22, 2010

Page or Pixel

Around 1440 the printing press was invented and it revolutionized the way that people communicated and shared information. For the last 570 years we have relied primarily on the printed word for information. Newspapers, magazines and books have been our primary source of information. However the times have changed, people no longer go to the USA Today for their news, they now go to and other news websites. Printed books at Barnes & Noble are being replaced by eBooks on the Kindle, Nook or iPad.

The pixel has replaced the page.

People are now turning to less traditional venues for information, if you want to know the latest breaking news story you should probably sign in to Twitter, not turn on the TV. During the Iran uprising of 2009 the US Government worked with Twitter to delay their scheduled site maintenance because Twitter was the primary venue that people in Iran were using to get the real story out. They weren't waiting for the evening news or the morning newspaper, they were posting what they saw in real time for the world to see.

Gone are the days of heavy, book-filled backpacks, because many College students can now get their textbooks via Kindle and iPad. I imagine that the day is near when the traditional textbook is obsolete in most American colleges. And why wouldn't these devices replace the textbook? I have a hard time finding reasons for not switching to this new technology.

In my own life this is true. I consider myself a news junky and last year I did something that, a few years ago seemed ridiculous for a news junky to do, I cancelled my newspaper subscription. I found that by the time the morning paper got here I had already heard most of the stories. It has also changed Church for me. I now use my iPhone as my Bible in church. I always have it with me, I have access to dozens of translations, commentaries and tons of notes, so why wouldn't I use it? Is the Word of God any less Holy if it is read via Pixel rather that Page? I don't think so.

The Internet is here to stay, mobile devices and web browsing are how people communicate and stay connected. The choice is ours if we want to change with the culture or not. Does that mean that we all need to rush out and buy a new iPad just so that we can stay at the forefront of technology?

Well...Yes. ;o) Kidding.

Sort of.

How has technology changed the way that you communicate or get information? Do you think that technology has improved our communication or do you think that it has made communication shallow and less personal?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.


  1. Adam -

    I tend to agree with you. It is spectacular how fast technology is advancing. I believe that technology has helped communication. Skype allows my family to actually see our relatives who live overseas. We can also stay updated on their daily activities via Facebook. These are just a couple of examples how technology has helped my family communicate.

  2. I mostly use the Internet for my news and social networking, but there's something to be said for opening up the pages of a book and reading a good long story, or calling up a friend on the telephone rather than chatting via text or instant message. Technology has its place (and I use it a LOT), but it's not complete in and of itself.

  3. One thing I think of when I think of technology replacing books, magazines and newspapers is when Sherri and I were in Dublin we visited the library at Trinity College and it is filled with OLD books and it was an amazing site and the smell of thousands of hundreds of year old books was just amazing. That is something that an iPad will never be able to generate.

  4. I like it. Twitter is a fellowship hall at times.