The Sunday Post #99
I don’t like paper. So much so that when I opened my current account at Bank of America, I didn’t even bother to order checks. I just opened a new account at Chase and got a little confirmation on my decision to keep my money digital.
The problem with paper
Back in 1995 I started my transition from analog to digital when I purchased my first DVD player. All of my music was already on the go for the move too. A few years passed and my hatred for printers continued to grow until I got to the point where I didn’t print at all and never wrote a check. Cash or plastic. And this has served me well for the past 7-8 years.
Then, at a local branch of Chase this week to open a new account and it turns out that my guy completely agreed with me. However, his agreement didn’t come because he also bore hatred toward paper and all paper generating devices like myself. He agreed because of security.
Duh. Why didn’t I get that?
Take a look at your check. It has your name. It also has your address, maybe a phone number. If you are older than I am, maybe your driver’s license number. Look lower. Account number and routing number are right there at the bottom of the check as well. That means that, really, anyone could get ahold of one of those, fill it out and take it to the nearest check cashing store or bank and trade it for cash. Then, they will drive to your house and steal your Macs and HD televisions and iPods.
Versus the debt card that you probably also carry. Associated with that are 16 digits + 4 digits + your 4-8 digit pin. That’s practically 256bit encryption right there friends. Not only that, but you can easily track transactions quicker than you can with checks. And, the only bit of personal information on it is your name.
I’m going to continue my paper-free existence. Saving trees and increased security is how I roll. Paper is so 20th Century, maybe you should think about it too.
Comments are open.
One of the many things I haven’t understood for quite some time now is the need for people to generate paper. And, if I’m honest, it really drives me crazy. Sure, there are something that require paper (usually stuff that has to be signed) and I get that. But the reams and reams of paper generated for the purpose of putting it into a file folder to be stuck in a metal box? I don’t get that.
Back in 1999 I bought my first DVD player. On that magical day, I decided to go 100% digital across the board. I got rid of all of my cassette tapes and VHS. I stopped printing as much as possible. I went digital.
Why can’t everyone else?
Part of my frustration with paper is the devices used to generate it. That’s right, printers.
What a wasteful product the modern printer is. Have you taken one out of a box lately? There is the box, about 100 yards of tape and enough plastic to melt down and reform into a Macbook enclosure. It’s ridiculous. And, of course, there is the ink, which is the only reason why printer manufacturers make printers in the first place.
Once unboxed and all of the packaging material safely disposed of, it still has to be installed. This is a problem too. You put in the disk, run an installer that takes 20 minutes, plug in the device and wait another 10 minutes while the printer whirs, chirps and grinds. Add another 10 minutes if you are trying to get this on the network. Add another 10 minutes if you are using security software that bypasses the Windows firewall to configure network access to the printer. Crazy.
Once all of that is done, you still have to go through and remove all of the icons to MSN and RealPlayer, kill start up items that every printer thinks you need and reset default programs because nobody wants to use the HP image gallery (trust me) or any other garbage that’s installed. The real kicker here is that Windows does every function supported by modern printers (print, scan, fax) out of the box. It’s too bad that the manufacturers don’t allow it.
I would be perfectly happy if I never had to install another printer again. It’s time.