An Odd Feeling About Print

Elaine and I spent some time this weekend looking at pictures taken by a friend who served an LDS mission in Japan (where Elaine and I both served) back in the early 90s. As we carefully passed the photos around, I realized that my feeling about print media has changed subtlety over the years.

It had been a long time since I’d handled a photo that didn’t start life digitally. I realized as I tried not to harm this one-of-a-kind artifact that my intuition, for lack of a better word, is that print media are cheap, almost disposable approximations of digital media. My gut tells me now that a printed photo is just an ephemeral version of the real photo, which is digital.

When did the fleeting, ephemeral qualities I used to associate with digital media come to be attached to physical media? When I pause and think consciously about it, my head still tell me that print has infinite battery life, infinite resolution, and will survive the impending EMP desolation (not to mention the ever changing file format merry-go-round we all know and love hate). I found it a but disorienting to realize that my intuitive sense of the world had moved so far without my noticing.

It made me wonder if any of you have had a similar experience, or if you can even understand what I’m talking about…

1 thought on “An Odd Feeling About Print”

  1. Actually, I was thinking about this the other day. It seems that over time, the things around us tend to become more familiar, and what we interact with and use repeatedly seems to be more and more commonplace until it eventually just becomes a part of who we are and what we do, even at subconscious level. I often wonder about how a person living in the 1950s (if they were magically dropped into our time period) would react and feel about the media and technologies we consider common today. How would their attitudes and feelings be different from people living now?

    On a side-note, this seems like a deeper level of learning than we normally think about as educators. It happens on a more comprehensive level and runs deeper than any “instructional intervention” we might create.

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