Is Paper Dead?

Published June 13, 2013 7:12 pm by LoSasso
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At a recent global BMA conference held right here in Chicago, the topic of “going paperless” was addressed, provoking the entire audience to think: “Is it really the best solution? Are we doing it well or even properly?” Domtar Paper, the company behind the Paper Because campaign, addressed these questions in a fun, quirky, and engaging presentation.

The presentation focused on how to view paper and use if effectively. They argued, “paper is sustainable”. But isn’t that the opposite of what we’ve been told by tree-huggers around the world? Isn’t the internet a more efficient way of transferring information? Turns out, Domtar just might be right.

“Please Consider the Environment Before Printing this Email”

We’ve all sent or received an email with this request. However, the Paper Because campaign argues that sometimes printing an email is more efficient. It can be easily shared with co-workers, used outside the office or away from our computer, or (like me) used as a physical checklist when going through a client’s project edits or wish list. Of course, we should be conscious of which emails need to be printed, but a stack of paper on your desk is more difficult to ignore than a buried email.

Write It Down

In an article by Fast Company, they argue that physically writing something down (versus using your phone) is the best way to ensure you will remember it. “It’s a smoother path from your brain to the printed word, it saves you from task-switching overload, and it possibly makes the best to-do list.”

In the Corporate World

Senior executives still prefer printed resumes they can hold and evaluate. If you have 10-30 seconds to wow your potential boss, why do it in a blog post where you’re also discussing last weekend’s party. And as mentioned above, it has a better chance of being read if it’s sitting on their desk, rather than in an inbox.

Electronic Clutter

Today, devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets sometimes provide more distractions than aid. You need to focus in on one thing to memorize, review or thoroughly comprehend it. Enter paper. If I’m reviewing a document on my phone and a text comes in, you can bet I’m immediately going to read the text and abandon my work. With paper printouts, you can focus on what’s in front of you with zero distractions.

Need more convincing? Check out this hilarious video for a taste of Domtar’s Paper Because campaign. I can guarantee it will change your mind, or at least make you think too. 

-Kristi Haddad