The age of the Kindle, iPhone, iPad, the laptop is upon us! All digital things shall rule and paper is dead. Well sort of.
Now, who uses a phone book? Anyone? I have a feeling that if I were talking in a room full of people I’d hear crickets. But that only seems to be the case in bigger, more condensed cities.
Recently I learned that local phone book companies are growing as much as 200% a year because of the need for something physical, especially in areas that don’t have good internet (yes they exist). It’s an incredible statistic which I wouldn’t have believed until I started doing business with phone book companies.
It’s made me look at paper differently. I personally have started my own physical library of amazing leather bound Franklin Library books. I still have an iPad which I enjoy reading from when I’m on the go, but there is something I just love about sitting in my room, office or library reading a classic with a physical book. It’s the experience.
I also have a letter kit, complete with wax and seal. Again, even more than before, a hand written letter means a great deal to people. It’s the thought of someone taking the time to write you a physical letter, in spite of the inevitable downgrade in human handwriting that technologies have plummeted us into.
I believe there is a shift going on. It’s about the experience and quality. Technology is forcing paper and physical products step up their game but not disappear. It’s no longer ok to just exist. They have to provide something more than just information. In a weird way, it’s like what Apple did to technology. Just having the features isn’t good enough, it’s how you feel when you use the product.