Instant Dissatisfaction

Video killed the radio star. Remember that? How prophetic. And now, even though it’s been happening for quite some time, it never meant anything to me personally until last week, when twice, in as many days, I received notification that two magazines I subscribe to have ceased publication. Well, not altogether, just in the traditional manner, as a tangible and malleable item.

Everything nowadays is instant gratification. You might blame it on sliced bread. That began eliminating the necessity of having to spend a few extra moments in sandwich preparation, although you do come away with the staff of life in even-sized slabs so your lunch doesn’t look all dilapidated and unappealing. I mean, everything from food, to music, to news is yours in the blink of an eye, or, rather, the click of a mouse. You no longer have to wait for anything…except the cable guy. Even books are now downloadable into an electronic reader through which you navigate with buttons and controls and can adjust the screen brightness for all types of lighting situations. Gosh, you can even look up words you don’t understand while you’re reading. How fascinating!

I don’t know, call me a curmudgeon or a product of my generation who oftentimes refuses to budge from his stalwart level of stubbornness, but I like holding a book in my hands (not that I do it very often, though my shelves are filled with tomes of a great variety of genres). I like the sound of the spine cracking when the book first sees the light of day. I like the inky smell of the pages and when it’s an older used book I like to imagine who else’s eyes once scanned those pages and whether he or she got the same thrill from those words. I like to use my ribbon bookmark with the two brass filigrees on either end.

But getting back to my two magazines, both will now be available online. One of them offers the online version for free, the other, for a fee. Maybe it’s because I spend my entire day planted in front of a computer doing my job. And as much as I have come to depend on technology (brainwashing or necessity aside), I still don’t want to be tethered to my computer every waking minute. I’d like to be able to sit in my easy chair, with my Saturday (or Sunday) cup of coffee and leaf through my glossy and read the one or two articles I ever would read. Plus, I’ve already paid a subscription 2 years in advance for the one; I don’t think it fair to have pay again to see it online. It suddenly became unimportant to me.

I guess it all has to do with the economy. It’s more cost effective to simply send everything out into cyberspace and beam it into homes all over the globe than to have to send out individual paper copies. I get that, honestly, but I, personally, would also pay a higher price if I had to, (if it were an option) to get things how I want them. And I would imagine it would trickle even further down the economic ladder to having to buy a new computer every so often. Computers just don’t squash bugs as effectively as a rolled up magazine.

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One Response to “Instant Dissatisfaction”

  1. Melissa Says:

    I am totally with you on this! I am the kind of girl who LIKES to hold something tangible in her hand … as opposed to being glued in front of a computer screen. Uck! And, like you, I feel like I get enough of that at my job. When I get home every night, I am “done” with the computer! I guess the only thing that gets me is the idea of the whole thing being more environmentally friendly … While I am somewhat old-fashioned and appreciate the creativity and patience and planning it takes to put a magazine (or book or newspaper) together, I also see TONS of waste in my day to day life. Sometimes I feel like that one Indian in the commercial who stands there in a dessert waste-land and sheds a single tear. So eh, I can see both sides of the argument. But I STILL don’t like being stuck in front of the computer all the time!!!

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