Human nature is on newspaper’s side

Funny thing happened the other day to our local newspaper on the way to obscurity — my teenage daughter asked for a printed copy.

While the world media might be quick to put a fork in the printed media and declare them done, there just might be something lurking out there we can’t fully appreciate.

Recently my daughter went to a small concert in our community. Knowing our newspaper wouldn’t be staffing the event, I suggested she might see about getting art and a cutline for us to publish. Armed with two friends and a cell phone, she left for the show.

The next morning I got up and found the photo emailed to me. Sitting down I quickly posted it to our newspaper website and shared the link to her Facebook account. Within minutes, people recognized the drummer as a former child television star and her post became viral with her friends.

But then something odd happened.

“Think you can bring home copies of the paper for me and my friends?”

To be honest, I was stunned. Here was a child of the digital generation needing a physical copy of a newspaper to validate something she experienced. Suddenly, the digital version was second-rate when it came down to the “touching” the experience.

Although I admit this is an unscientific piece of data, I do believe it helps to reinforce how we as humans instinctively harbor the need to touch the important things in our lives. While society races to embrace a digital world of communication, there is still something instinctive inside of us driving us to validate something with the tips of our fingers. Much like our urges to reach out and touch someone we see in pain or high-five a stranger sitting next to us at a high school football game, the sense of touch is an instinctive and deeply personal emotional impulse hardwired in our human nature.

I realize each of us is awash in the noise of the digital explosion — a world where information can be published (or erased) with the simple act of a few keystrokes. Everything is instantaneous, yet somewhat impermanent. And our screens, much like our attention spans, refresh and change within minutes.

And then there is the printed newspaper: permanent in its final form and faithfully marking time and the world around it at the moment. And believe it or not, this means something to our individual psyche.

So even in today’s world, our printed newspaper carries a “secret sauce” embedded like no other medium — an emotional connection driven by human nature. And this instinct, fortunately, is not generational exclusive as I recently discovered. And for me, a veteran of the printed world of business for decades, it was nice to relearn this lesson through the eyes of a member of the digital generation.

(Leonard Woolsey is the publisher of Times-Georgian in Carrollton and Douglas County Sentinel, Douglasville.)



More Opinion

Our school system scores again

Yet another star to add to the Coweta County School System. The Georgia Department of Education released the results of the latest alphabet ... Read More


Rants, Raves & Really?!?

A look back at last week’s highs, lows and whatevers: REALLY?!?: Kevin Brown, CEO of Piedmont Healthcare, gave a speech last week sayi ... Read More


He is risen

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent ear ... Read More


Georgia Says

The Times, Gainesville, Ga., on tax reform being overdue: April 15 was tax day. The marvels of electronic filing may have lessened somewhat ... Read More


A well-deserved and prudent raise

Coweta County School System employees should be a little happier this morning after the Board of Education restored one paid teacher day and ... Read More

Becoming a health care mecca

A rather depressing statement came out of the mouth of the CEO of Piedmont Healthcare during a breakfast speech earlier this week. “On ... Read More