Untrending: Internet is fast-food world of information

Untrending: Internet is fast-food world of information

Something nice about print

In the digital age, we regularly (if not constantly) find ourselves online consuming news, checking in on friends and family, participating in community discourse and accessing data and information.

Everything we could possibly want to find out about it is literally at our fingertips.

Simply typing the word “search” into Google, gave me more than a billion results in less than a second—0.37 of a second to be exact. The Internet is a fast-food world where we can get pretty much whatever we want instantaneously. It is changing the way we work and live and how we consume information.

At the intersection of technology and artisanship, we’re seeing the rise of the maker movement, the mainstream aspects of that culture most evidenced on social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.

DIY aficionados, at the tap of a screen, can access an endless source of freely shared ideas, inspiration, how-to information, patterns and instructions in nearly any art, craft, hobby or home-improvement technique. Capitalizing on this growing movement, and despite an overall decline in the production and distribution of newspapers and magazines, a different kind of print product is emerging.

Think about Flow Magazine out of Holland, or Daphne’s Diary or In the Moment out of the United Kingdom. These magazines share a common profile. They celebrate art, design, local food and cookery, and artisanship. Their primary message is to slow down and savour the processes of daily life, from simmering a delicious homemade soup, to planting your own vegetables, to repurposing household furniture. They have a retro vibe and their articles focus on mindfulness, presence, and creativity. Featured interviews are with artists, designers, and lifestyle experts. Most issues contain gifts and tangible takeaways such as stickers, wrapping paper, posters, or bookmarks. DIY papercrafts, recipes, and patterns are often included.

Even my company here in Maple Ridge, produces a small quarterly publication called Pause, a tiny magazine that doesn’t hustle, boss, crush or slay. It is intended, as the tongue-in-cheek tagline suggests, as an antidote to the fast-food culture of the world wide web.

We send it out via snail mail to a client mailing list, along with a monthly digital newsletter that covers similar themes. In my business, giving people permission to pause, encouraging mindful practices, and supporting creative expression are important themes, but why bother with print?

There is something ineffably satisfying about handling paper. (If you are a paper-lover you know what I mean.)

Print products also offer longevity. I like carrying the local newspaper and a couple of magazines around in my tote bag, browsing the articles at my leisure while I sip a latte, or laze under a leafy tree. The durability of print is appealing. A stack of magazines on the coffee table, or a row of books on a shelf, provide a kind of comfort.

The pace of print has something to do with patience, and peacefulness. The trend toward this new kind of publication is intriguing. It is a signal that there is room in the marketplace, and in our busy lives, for both analog and digital sources of information and inspiration.

Vicki McLeod is an author, TEDx speaker, and award-winning entrepreneur. She is a business and personal coach and consultant. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or find her at www.vickimcleod.com.