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  • Surekha

    Member
    November 2, 2021 at 12:13 AM
    100 Network Points
    Activity Points 380

    The increasing popularity of the digital medium is evident in the rising proliferation of E-books in our midst. A section of the populace fears that expanding digital readership will lead to the disappearance of conventional reading forms, including newspapers and magazines. The essay disagrees with the assertion that digitised mediums will completely displace long-standing modes of readership. It discusses the reasons for this opinion, followed by a logical conclusion.

    While digital technology has gained an abiding presence in all spheres of our lives and has the capacity to take over traditional channels of communication, inequitable access to technology prevents this from becoming a reality in the foreseeable future. As per the findings of the National Health and Family Survey (NFHS), 2019-20, nearly one-third of men and almost 50 percent women lacked regular access to a computer, laptop, I-pad or even, an android phone. Access to internet connectivity posed a problem to another 15 per cent of the population who had access to these modern gadgets. Given the scenario, the takeover of e-books over traditional modes of communication such as the newspaper and print magazines seems like a pipe dream.

    A section of the population is also thoroughly attached to the conventional print media. For millions of people, perusing the newspaper, alongside their cup of morning tea or coffee, is an inherent and irreplaceable part of their daily life. Moreover, the online experience is beset with numerous pop-up video advertisements, which serve as unnecessary distractions. These destroy the sanctity of their serious reading experience. For other people, their familiarity with the hard-copy of their favourite reads, including magazines, makes this an inviolable experience. The smell of paper and the look and feel of a used magazine cannot be recreated over the digital medium for such people.

    In the end, while a section feels that modern technology has the potential to oust more established forms of reading, including newspapers and magazines, limited access to digital gadgets and poor internet connectivity, combined with the love of a section of people for the traditional modes of reading makes this an unviable proposition in times to come.

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