We now live in a world in which information is pretty much easy to access.
Often times people make comparisons between the old way of gathering information and the new way of doing so.
This often leads to a conversation that compares the internet and books.
People in my reading club actually brought this topic up and it was quite interesting to get people’s opinions on this.
This post will therefore discuss this in more detail, by shining a light on both the Internet and books.
With that said, which is better the Internet or books?
Books are a more credible source of information compared to the Internet. Before books are published, they go through a rigorous processes like being reviewed, fact checked, being checked for any plagiarized material, being checked for logical flaws etc… Some Information on the Internet doesn’t go through deep fact checking processes. However the Internet does have its appeal because it is vast and has new information almost everyday.
Certainly books are a credible source of information but the truth is that the Internet has become the new normal.
People are not waking up to check their books, they’re waking up to check their phones and log on to their social media accounts.
This should say alot about the culture of reading in this day and age.
Why the Internet may be convenient medium
Below are some reasons why people may prefer to use the Internet rather access books.
Access to a large data base
The very first point that is worth addressing is that the Internet is basically a large database. Comprising of any and all the information that any one would go looking for.
Books are limited and you can only read one at a time but the Internet gives you access to everything that you may want.
A single book consists of one book on one topic while the Internet is basically vast information that anyone can find with a few clicks.
This brings me to my next point.
Everybody is using the Internet and there’s no one left out really, only a small percentage at best.
This makes the Internet a valuable resource.
Information is basically easy to find and it’s almost always updated to keep it fresh.
Companies like Google ensure that bloggers and content creators are monitored to make sure they produce the best content.
Furthermore, new information is always present online and this makes it a source to keep you updated.
Information on new technologies is made readily available for anyone with the attention span to consume it.
With books everything is pretty much the same and you don’t really expect updates to made to a book.
Of course some ideas may be re-written and re-presented again but the general core ideas almost always remain the same.
With the Internet you get new information that has the ability to render old information irrelevant.
Some ideas are improved, some are replaced with new ones and the cycle pretty much continues.
Social media has also made the Internet an unstoppable force. It has basically become a news source on its own because while people may miss the news on TV, they are almost always on the Internet.
This makes the social media section of the Internet very important and a space in which information can be shared.
Most leading industry professionals are on social platforms and a person can easily engage them and get more context around the work they do.
This is important because it makes dialogue with leading professionals possible. A person can write a book and the Internet can provide a forum that can allow people to discuss the book.
As well as connect with the writer and start conversations that could contribute to further understanding of the book.
The Internet is fast
Another advantage that the Internet has over books is that it is fast.
You don’t have to flip through pages to find what you’re looking for. You can easily type a search phrase in a search bar provided by a search engine like Google and all the necessary information related to that keyword will be made available for you.
This is very important in many respects.
For example, students preparing for exams can easily search for whatever that may help them in their studies without scouring through a library of many books.
Also, this kind of convenience makes it possible to save time. For example, if you’re looking for something really specific like say a template for a sales letter… you can simply search for that key phrase and the results will pop up and you’ll have what you need in under 5 minutes.
Using books would involved a lot of work and searching through physical books is no simple task. Sometimes you may not even have a library near you which would make it more difficult for you.
The Internet can save you a trip to the library and save you the time of searching by page for what you’re looking for.
Easier to handle
The Internet is pretty easy to handle. It has been made this way to ensure that everyone has access and nobody is left out.
This makes a good and useful tool for basically everybody.
Doesn’t cost too much
The Internet is basically free at this point. You may have to pay a few fees here and there but you really don’t need to pay anything to access information, say on Google.
You may need to spend money to buy certain information and certain books but most information can be accessed for less than $0.
All you need is an Internet connection. That’s really the only catch.
You’d think the Internet to be expensive if you’re paying high fees to access the Internet but the fact is, the Internet is an affordable tool and people pay small fees to use it.
The Internet is a large database and if you think about it, what you pay for an Internet connection is very miniscule compared to the amount of information that you can access.
You can access information across different topics and ideas. So the value side is forever on your side.
Why books may be convenient
Let’s look at why books may be more convenient.
With books we are obviously guaranteed credible information because books are reviewed before they’re published.
In this regard you know exactly what to expect when you open and read a book.
Some information on the Internet is credible but in other situations you may not know whether what you’re reading is actually spot on.
The Internet thrives on its ability to be Decentralized and inclusive. Which means content creators can create content without being vetted rigorously but basically judged by the quality of the content they produce and its originality as well.
Let’s face it, being on the Internet is a unique experience on its own. Information is basically everywhere among other things.
This power of the Internet makes it a very distracting tool. you can easily be sucked into something unintentionally.
Being on the Internet is basically a lot of information fighting for your attention at the same time.
So you being on the Internet without a sense of control over what you want to do is the easiest way to lose your focus and get lured into something you didn’t want to look into in the first place.
Books can help you concentrate and the fact is you don’t expect an ad to pop up while you’re reading a book.
They don’t rely on electricity
Another advantage that books have over the Internet is that books don’t rely on electricity in order for them to function.
Which means you can read anywhere and at any time.
You could basically be in the middle of nowhere without electricity and you can easily open up a book and read it.
The Internet on the other hand requires you to have a source of electricity to keep the device you’re using to access it on powered on.
This becomes a challenge when you don’t have access to electricity or access to the Internet itself.
Reading on paper is better than on screens
Reading on screens causes eye strain which is not only harmful but irritating.
You can easily damage your eyes from having them focused on screens for too long. A book on the other hand will help you stay focused without having to worry about your eyes being over stressed or being subject to damage.
Also, Most people find it difficult to read on screens because the text is too small in most cases which makes reading seem impossible and inconvenient. Most people will usually close a book after trying to read off their device.
This makes books the better option if you’re looking to concentrate and stay on the book.