There is perhaps nothing more that has changed in our lifetime than communications. Could you imagine what our great-grandparents would think of how we now communicate and how we are obsessed with devices all day?
Gone are the days when you had to get up out of your chair to change one of the 12 channels you had on the television dial. Yes, it was a dial. Gone are the days when you didn’t know who was calling you and had to pick up the phone to find out.
The newspaper has changed so much, as well. We live in a world where news breaks, and we find out within seconds, mainly through social media. There is good and bad to that, but it’s certainly different.
Whenever I think back on how it used to be, when we had to wait for our morning paper to learn news, I go back to the early 1990s. When I was in college in Athens, just 25 years ago, we still got the paper to learn what was going on, not to just get a recap of something we already knew.
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Since I love baseball trades, and trade rumors, there was no website like MLB Trade Rumors.com, since there was no Internet. There was no Twitter, so I had to watch “SportsCenter” to find out if a trade had been made. And I usually had to watch the Atlanta TV sportscasts to see if they had any breaking news.
I even had the toll-free number to The Associated Press. I would call to ask if any news had happened if I couldn’t find out sooner on television or radio.
I remember being so curious about whether the Braves were making trades that I would sleep on my sofa in my apartment and wait for the newspaper to hit the front door. I craved the news, and I had to wait on my newspaper for it.
It’s a little different now. Trades are made, and we find out quickly. News breaks, and we find out within seconds. There is a no-wait policy now.
Online content has become important. You probably know if you subscribe to this newspaper that we also want you to go online for more information. We want you to be interactive, and to get you the information immediately, whether it’s news or sports, we must have that avenue to reach you within seconds.
The Internet allows us to provide more coverage, longer stories. Unfortunately, the days of having long, detailed stories in the newspaper are gone. It’s all about getting you to click on something to read it on a device — whether it’s the computer, tablet or phone.
That’s fine. It’s the way our world works these days. We get instant scores on our phones, can even watch the games on there. Heck, I might be tied up all day and can simply check Twitter to know what’s going on before I do a four-hour radio show. That’s just the way it is.
Count me as someone who still appreciates the newspaper, the ability to have it in my hand each morning. Now, I’ve not been asked by the Telegraph to do a public service for still reading the newspaper. This isn’t a campaign or a plea. It’s just my belief that there is still a service in having the sports page on your table every morning.
Some things might not be in there, like game stories or updated scores. That makes it our responsibility to provide you with something interesting, whether it’s a feature or an opinion piece like this space provides. We must keep you engaged, and even for a few minutes off that electronic device that has our attention.
There’s nothing like the scoreboard page. Reading the box scores just seems better in the newspaper. The newspaper is just more local, which is what sets it apart from other platforms. Whether you’re in Macon or Waycross, a city or a small town, you can usually find out what’s happening in your back yard from a newspaper.
While I’m not that old, maybe this is just me being old-fashioned a bit. But count me as someone who still values the ability to have the sports page in my hand each morning. I may know that Dansby Swanson drove in the winning run for the Braves, but I still want to read about it in the box score anyway.
Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on “Middle Georgia’s ESPN” – 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at email@example.com.