Two very familiar things are now missing from our house. For years we had a newspaper delivered every day and received Sports Illustrated in the mail every week. I used to love the newspaper. I would devour it each day to keep up on current events, learn about the world, find a connection to my community, read restaurant reviews, and find out about the local arts scene. I used to love Sports Illustrated. I would devour it each week to read Rick Reilly’s column, search for information about my favorite teams, and read touching stories that went far beyond sports.
But that has all changed.
It’s almost sacrilege not to have a newspaper in our house. I grew up in a household that received both a morning and an afternoon newspaper in the day and age when Milwaukee had both. Our home was filled with magazines. Daily reading was part of the culture of our home. I even have a newspaper collection that includes editions dating all the way back to World War II.
But recently we decided it was no longer worth the expense or the extra paper sitting around because:
- I was getting angry reading articles and editorials that were so far removed from my own political views
- There were many days that, because of our busy schedules, the newspaper was never even opened
- We felt as though it wasn’t good environmental stewardship to keep sending slightly used paper into the recycling bin each and every day
- Sports Illustrated became a shadow of its former self, and, in my opinion, just not that interesting anymore.
But the main reason we let go of these physical subscriptions is because we could get our world news, local news, and sports news much more quickly and immediately online. On Twitter I can follow news and sports that are more specific to my interests, locality, and persuasion. I see things in online news feeds far before they would ever be published in a newspaper or magazine. Being a Facebook fan of my favorite teams provides up to the minute information on injuries, roster moves, and background stories.
I can always buy a newspaper at the newsstand if there is a significant event that would provide the impetus for me to add to my collection. For instance, I bought a paper the day Osama bin Laden was killed. And if I really want to do the crossword puzzle (which is the one thing I miss about getting the paper) I could cure that need with a quick trip to the store.
The one thing I need to be careful about, however, is insulating and isolating myself from opposing views. Although I got angry at my local newspaper because of the political slant of the coverage, I need to be careful not to stick my head in the sand. I make sure to follow online news outlets that come from a differing view and provide for me thoughts that expand my thinking. But I can pick and choose, and I can read opposing viewpoints in doses that are much more tolerable.
Have you given up on receiving a physical newspaper? What are your thoughts regarding getting all your news online?