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Going Paperless: The Tale of the Man who Printed out his FB Wall

Have you ever met anyone who PRINTED OUT their Facebook wall to read the postings?

When I was at the gym this morning, I was amazed, yet again. Most mornings you can find me there, and as a trained journalist, I know I have a habit of observing those around me.

There is a older gentleman (60ish) there every morning, too, who regularly works out on the treadmill and the bicycle. Now there’s nothing remarkable about that, certainly, but what I always found fascinating is his reading material. He prints out stories from the Internet via the Washington Post or The New York Times and reads them while exercising.

OK – I get that, but today, I saw him reading Facebook postings from his wall. Yes, I was THAT close to him to see this with my own eyes.

Although I wish it were different, I have no delusions that all of my – and my colleagues’ – writings about the paperless office make any kind of significant impact beyond the moment a CPA or accountant reads the articles, and certainly, the articles have very little impact beyond the accounting profession.

So if that’s the case, how can we help convince anyone, no matter how old they are, that technology offers us the easy-to-use ability to cut down on paper and conserve our resources? If this man is reading his Facebook postings and downloading articles from the Internet, then he has some kind of understanding about what technology can help him do.

Of course, the easiest solution that is also the trend of the moment is the iPad. I could get all this on an iPad and bring it with him to the gym.

I don’t have a quick solution to the less-paper problem, but I would like to see all of us try and educate others (mostly those older) about the available solutions. Maybe if we do a little bit at at time it would help save a twig. In turn, it could eventually help save a tree.

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