Paper versus Pixel By Nicholas Carr | MyPaperHub

The modern technology is completely changing the traditional way of doing things. As a matter of fact, some people argue that there will once emerge a generation that will be taken by total awe learning some realities of the past which will be the present days we are living in. Margolin et al. evaluated the question relating to if reading on a screen- particularly on an e-reader such as a Kindle- as against to reading on an old-fashioned paper facilitates the achievement of the end goal, that is, reading comprehension. Nicholas Carr through his article “Paper versus Pixel, tries to analyze this matter considering the applicability of both physical paper and the electronic content. The argument presented by Margolin et al. is that “electronic forms of text presentation (both computer and e-reader) may be just as viable a format as paper presentation for both narrative and expository texts” (517). Buying into Carr’s argument one discovers that there will never come such a time when the physical paper turns out to be obsolete. It in fact continues to gain relevance with each new day. The usage is as diverse as that of the electronic media as Carr puts it in this article. Therefore it is prudent to say that the physical paper will continue to exist as long as human beings exist.

Stoop asserts that the findings of the research reveals that printing on paper is notwithstanding a superior medium that can be used for learning as well as digesting complicated and intricate texts, whereas electronic screens are acknowledged for their quick information gathering (12). Carr seems to have considered different views from different writers and chose to respond to them in his own way of reason putting facts the way they should be. Paper was discovered many years ago in China by a young man by the name Cai (Par1). It was an invention that would change China and the world beyond. Time went by and new sophisticated technologies started sweeping across the globe. New discoveries that seem to replace physical paper are being witnessed. Different people have different opinions regarding these discoveries with some arguing that soon physical paper would be a thing of the past while others disputing these claims. He is of a different opinion. He considers both sides of argument and his position is supported with facts from both sides. For him, there is no end for the physical paper despite technology coming up at an alarming pace. He is keen to note the role played by each side, that of the printed paper and that of the electronic devices. However his argument seems to be in the support of the printed paper for he tries to show how it remains important even in the wake of some serious discoveries. Margolin et al. points out that, when a reader is facing distraction, his/her “capacity for processing text may be reduced, making difficulties with fully understanding the text more likely” (512).

The preference of the printed paper by many students is a sufficient proof that there is no foreseeable end for the paper. It is unimaginable to live in a world that physical serves a great purpose. Masses get educated through the use of the paper (Par6). Majority, as Carr puts it, claim that the convenience associated with the printed paper can never be likened to that of the electronic sources. They claim that a text read from a physical book tend to stick into the brain more than that that read on an electronic device. People also claim that more papers that have been stacked together provide extra pleasure in reading them as compared to a single page at a time as it is displayed by the electronic device. To proof that the paper is here to stay, Carr says that more and more magazines as well as other print media are being produced and the readership grows even stronger with time meaning that people still prefer the physical paper even more. The electronic side has its merits as argued in the article. Margolin et al. (2013) “looked to explore a new technology known as an e-reader, whose intended function is the singular process of reading, rather than searching for an evaluating information online” (514). He does say that an electronic device provides an easy access to content as compared to the printed paper. Another important aspect of the electronic device is that, one is able to view much more content due to the available numerous links on the internet (Par8). Also, the content on the electronic devices is easy to share with other people. It therefore doesn’t require a long process as it would be the case with the printed content. The electronic media does the traditional paper in that; the internet content is enhanced with graphics and more content.    

Regardless of the varied views of the matter in discussion, we get it from Carr that future of the paper remains intact and the objective of Cai remains forever valid (par12). The two sides being argued about have unique role to play in the life of a person. There is no one side that can be argued as being more important than the other. There will be scenarios that will favour the printed paper and other the electronic content. It will be upon individuals to choose either of the two depending on the goal they aim to achieve on the different occasions. According to Margolin, other researches on e-reading recommends that “reading online may be at the very least more complex than reading traditional printed text” (513) and that it entailss “more than simply understanding what is encountered” (513), requiring “that the reader engage in other higher level processing of the material beyond creating a mental representation of the text” (513).

Books have existed since a long time ago and are read over and over again. For one to dispute the fact that printed papers hold any meaningful impact in the future would be totally misguided. Technological advancement is occurring at an accelerated pace but this cannot deny physical books the role they play on the face of earth. There is a lot of crucial content that has been put in printed books and no other way or format that it can presented lest it loses its value. So the printed paper holds lots of historical information that needs to be preserved for future generations. The preservation will entail passing them from one generation to another and this is a sure indication that the paper will continue to live as long as populations continue to expand.

Developing nations present another perspective from which to view this subject of discussion. Not all of these regions are well equipped with the electronic devices that would increase affinity to the internet promoting the usage of the electronic content. In these countries printed paper still remains the reliable way of communicating. Electronic mode of communication is embraced by the few who happen to be savvy with the internet applications. The larger part of the population needs this information which they cannot access on the internet sources. Therefore, electronic devices can never replace the physical paper completely no matter how long some people may wait for become a truth. Margolin et al. found out that previous research on electronic reading “focused primarily on the process and efficacy of reading from computers, rather than outcomes like comprehension and learning” (513). For instance, researchers did their studies on speed with which peoples could read as well as proofread on paper as opposed to a computer (Margolin et al. 513) in addition to analysing inconsistencies in terms of both experiential as well as physical differences concerning reading on screen and on paper.

From the discussion above, it is understandable how physical paper is important as well as the electronic content. We have seen how different people have different opinions regarding this aspect. Carr has explained how the two sides relate to one another how important they are to human beings in their own capacities. The physical paper is an invention that came with the objective of changing lives and becoming the element of change as far as informing societies and communities is concerned. All we need to understand when each other two becomes an essential part of our lives. There is a point where the two collectively serve a purpose to fulfil a want. Mastering well these few aspects changing our understanding and especially for those who had a different notion to this issue.                 







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