Thank you all for the sweet comments on my Summit Series post. It truly was an experience that made me think long and hard about my purpose in life, as dramatic as that sounds. I am delighted that some of you were as inspired as I was!
Today I want to talk about my glossy habit.
I have been a subscriber to the “Big Five” – or what I consider to be the biggest – health and fitness magazines since I was a freshman in college.
Many people may view this as a waste of money. That the topics, for the most part, are the same in every publication every month and are recycled with new information – but ultimately presented in the same way – every year.
I won’t deny that there have been occasions where I’ve thought about narrowing it down to just one or two, but I always find myself coming to the same conclusion – there is something valuable about having each of them in print. It would be impossible for me to choose.
That said, I knew there were others who would disagree, so I took to Twitter and Facebook and received some very thought provoking responses:
I think the arguments for going paperless and finding a more personal connection with bloggers are particularly meaningful in this discussion. I also agree with Stephanie’s point that fitness sites are a great way to reputably validate any opinions we as bloggers put out there.
Then it hit me that I was looking online to find answers to an offline question. It really drove home the notion of how easy it is to connect with a wider group of people instantly through the Internet.
For the most part, I live my life in a digital world. I run a digital company, spend a large portion of my day on Facebook and Twitter and email and every other online professional or social platform. I should therefore be able to obtain the information I’m looking for in these magazines through online channels and be happy. The print form of magazines should no longer be relevant for me…right?
Well call me crazy, but I think the real reasoning behind all of this is because in an increasingly paperless world, I actually enjoy being able to hold written content that isn’t inside something made of metal or hard plastic.
I enjoy being able to bring magazines with me to the gym and not worry if I slobber them with sweat.
I enjoy being able to rip out pages and post them somewhere as a motivational reminder.
I enjoy being able to read one of my closest friend’s work in its most original form.
These are just some of the reasons why I am still a print subscriber, six years later.
That said, the fact that I turned to the Internet to discover this answer is important to me. It helped me realize that I truly enjoy the fact that these magazines, once limited in reach only to mailing addresses, can now impact people all over the world.
I am grateful for the fact that magazines have embraced the digital arena. Today Cristin from SELF Magazine wrote her final post on Eat Like Me. While I am excited for her future, I found myself thinking about the past.
As you may know, Cristin is who inspired me to write a blog in the first place. Without her and SELF’s decision to allow blogging on their site, I may have never even started this three-year journey. I have them both to thank for bringing me one giant step into the digital world.
Last week, I had the opportunity to be featured on FITNESS Magazine’s “The Fit Stop.”
The jubilation I felt when I saw my name on their website is hard to put into words. None of that would have been possible if magazines were still limited to their print editions.
My point in all of this is that in the question of paper vs. plastic (print vs. online), I believe personally that the answer is a little bit of both – and my reasoning is based both on aesthetics and convenience.
The paper magazine should not go away. I will still be a loyal subscriber for years to come, if they’ll let me. The ability to touch the pages and save particularly meaningful stories (rather than digitally archiving them) is still too important.
But I am glad that some content is also available online. Magazines are still one of my ultimate authorities because they were willing to come out from behind the curtain of a New York office and be more authentic with their readers through social platforms, staff blogging and personalized storytelling, while still maintaining journalistic integrity through expert opinions and sources (although I will be the first to concede that no publication is perfectly unbiased). I love that I can easily share this information with friends, family and blog readers through a simple link or click of a button.
Do I think bloggers reach people on a more personal level overall? Absolutely.
But there is still something to be said for the magazine and I look forward to watching them continue to evolve with the times. I would love to hear your opinions on this, too!
Do you still read health and fitness magazines? Why or why not? And if yes, do you read them in print or prefer to utilize their digital platforms instead?
I’m excited to hear what you have to say!