The current trend of moving toward a paperless society is nothing new. With the advancement and availability of e-readers, tablets and cloud-based storage and retrieval systems, the speculated coming doom of the paper industry seems inevitable, if not pending. Some advantages to this shift are clear. Reducing waste incurred from the use and eventual disposal of paper records is desirable. Saving the trees from the paper pulp factory has its merits. The global sharing of legal documents, medical records, emails and books certainly presents an argument difficult to counter. So what is there not to like about going paperless?
In my own personal attempt to go paperless for the last several weeks, I have found myself sometimes liking, sometimes disliking the change. I have slowly been transferring my recipe collection to an online notebook which I can now share with my family on their electronic devices. No more texts asking me what goes in the chili or if I know where to find the chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have also moved my calendar from a spiral-bound book to an online calendar that syncs with my husband’s calendar. No more wondering if my phone call will interrupt his meeting or if he will remember that birthday party on Saturday! I even began a year-long Bible reading plan on my tablet and created a prayer journal using a note-taking app. The ease and accessibility are hard to beat.
But this morning, I defected. I could do it no longer. I pulled my journal out of the drawer and lovingly rubbed the soft cover like a well-loved blanket. I found a favorite pen. I re-opened the bent-edged pages of my prayer journal. And I felt at home. There’s something about that fresh white blank journal page that calls me to write. There’s something about a clean crisp sheet of paper that demands to be clothed in creativity. There’s something about a dog-eared book that brings comfort. I have come home to that comfort.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not anti-technology. I still love my tablet, my laptop, and the wonderful world of the Web. There’s no going back to the days before email, Facebook, Twitter and the like. I am all for that. But I am putting in a plea for the power of paper, sending out a S.O.S. to save paper so we can still enjoy a blank page open and ready to birth creativity. Dear Journal, you are my friend. I am sorry I left you for so long. But this time I am here to stay.