Junior Héloïse Schep. (Photo by Jacqueline Chao)

MY ANGLE: Sorry, Mother Nature – paper rules forever!

In the midst of a sea of Google Drive folders and subfolders and sub-sub folders, an Octagon staffer has (understandably) lost the document containing the draft system for stories. 

“Can’t we just print it?” she asks. But our classroom walls, once filled with paper, are now empty, not a single Octagon document in sight.

“Just open it in the Drive,” someone says. 

It seems like every year, technology bleeds further into my life. If it’s not on CavNet, it’s on Google Classroom, Google Drive or a class website.

And while doing everything online may be efficient or neat or better for the environment, I still love paper the most. 

I’ve always had an aversion to technology. I didn’t even find out about the internet until fourth grade – not because my parents didn’t want me to know about it but because I was purely uninterested in anything technological. 

Need more proof? I have a paper planner. (I’ve never once used Google Calendar.) I print all my notes and assignments. I write and make cards by hand. I read books only in print. 

Finally, my rolling backpack, which is already so large it can barely stand upright, has reached its monstrous size partially because I refuse to read my textbooks online. 

Sorry, trees. 

While some claim my adoration of print is because of my “unique” typing habits (I type with only my right index finger), it’s actually because paper is just better – especially since it helps your memory.

According to Scientific American, modern screens and e-readers fail to adequately recreate certain tactile experiences of reading on paper. This can prevent people from easily reading long texts and may even impede comprehension.

Also, the physical act of highlighting, writing notes in the margin, putting sticky notes in my book and turning the page forces me to understand what I’m reading. 

And no one can deny that the smell of books is unrivaled to the cold, metal touch of a Kindle. 

Furthermore, you can be so creative with the design of books.  I once read about a copy of “Fahrenheit 451” that included a real match, and its spine was made out of a matchbox.

“But what about the indestructibility of technology?” you might be thinking. “A book can be lost or burned or torn apart, but my device will last forever!”

Tell that to my iPhone, which, after getting a few droplets of water on it this summer, displayed a beautiful rainbow of colors and then went black forever, causing me to lose all my contacts, photos and notes.

Plus, even the smartest computers can be hacked or break down. 

However, I do understand that printing takes time and kills trees. To all the technology lovers, I’m not asking for you to stop using your devices; I myself can’t go a day without my laptop or my phone. Society has to move forward, even if it means leaving some (paper) things behind. 

But kindly move out of my way while I lug my 50-pound backpack and five textbooks around – it’ll take some time for me to adjust.

By Héloïse Schep

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