Paper vs. Laptop

As a writer, I’ve always gone back and forth between using technology to write and using paper and a pen. I’m sure even if you’re not a writer, everyone has had this dilemma as well. I always go back and forth between which method is better, but now I’m starting to thing that neither method is better than the other. I think they both have their own set of pros and cons.

Pros of Using Paper

1. Nostalgia

Lately, I have been using electronic devices more often than paper. That being said, I sometimes use paper simply because I am feeling nostalgic and miss the feeling of having a pen in my hands.

2. Fewer Distractions

Sometimes it’s better to use paper because if you’re able to kind of zone out everything around you, there are fewer distractions. It’s nice to be able to sit down and write without the constant flurry of notifications popping into your view. When you write on a laptop there are constant notifications from Facebook and iMessage. But writing on paper allows you to take yourself out of the world of media and just be alone with your thoughts.

3. Personal Touch

I feel like this is something more relevant to things like cards or letters. It’s a lot more personal when you take the time to write out a note to a friend or a card to a family member than typing it out. It adds a personal touch that Times New Roman just can’t achieve.

Cons of Using Paper

1. More Work

It really depends on what you are writing, but more often than not when you write something on paper it just creates more work for you. I once wrote a 19 page short story entirely on paper and then later had to sit down and copy the entire thing into a word document. As someone who is not the best typer, it was a horribly tedious and drawn out process. With longer works, it’s more beneficial to just type it as you go along because you waste time writing it out on paper and then having to copy it all later.

2. Less Protected

Sometimes I prefer putting things on my laptop because I can password protect them. With paper, it’s easier for people to read things especially if they’re just in a plain notebook. Also, it’s really easy for paper to get damaged and it can be  difficult to take that risk with really important things.

Pros of Using a Laptop

1. Easier to Share

It’s a lot easier to share work with people when you’re using a laptop. Your work is already typed so you can just copy and paste it into an email and send it to someone. Also, with technology like Google Docs it’s easy to collaborate with people about your work.

2. More Protected

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like my work is more safe with a password than if it’s in a notebook (even if the notebook is in a safe or has a lock and key). As long as you don’t forget the password or your laptop doesn’t lose all your work, whatever you have protected is pretty safe.

3. Neater

It’s a lot neater to write with a laptop because you can just delete words without having a bunch of cross outs or eraser marks. It’s also easier to add in text because you don’t have to scrunch it all in the margins.

Cons of Using a Laptop

1. Not as Personal

Sometimes it’s just better to write things on paper because the typing of the keys can’t compare to writing on paper. No matter what font you choose, it’s not as unique as your own handwriting.

2. Technology Can’t Always Be Trusted

I’m always skeptical of using technology because I’m afraid that my laptop is going to lose my work or I’m going to forget a password and not be able to access work that I protected. I guess it’s a risk you take with both paper and laptops. Paper writing can be damaged and laptop writing can be lost.

Either way, both methods are good methods. They both have their pros and cons and they both have their risks. Lately, I’ve been using the electronic method more than the traditional paper method but that doesn’t mean I like one better than the other. They both have their own unique uses and benefits.

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