Printing has played a critical role in the evolution of society across centuries, and with that in mind, much of the modern world has been shaped under its influence. The invention of printing greatly facilitated the spread of ideas, allowing for widespread publication of books, pamphlets, newspapers, etc. Compared to the Middle Ages, when books had to be painstakingly copied by hand, printing allowed books (as well as various other forms of literature) to be produced far more quickly and in far greater numbers.
This proved critical in shaping so many of the critical intellectual currents of the early modern era, where printing was used as a tool to reach a larger audience. Throughout the Scientific Revolution, the Protestant Reformation, and the Enlightenment, printing was used as a tool for the proliferation of ideas and discourse. These all represented critical turning points in history, which have all held a lasting legacy in shaping society and culture centuries after the fact.
Even in the modern age, with the advent of digitization where more and more publishing and discourse is being held online, printing's long-term effect and influence still holds force as a critical contributor in creating that world to begin with. But even if we were to admit that printing has been losing some of its traditional primacy, it still plays a critical role in modern society as well. There remain printed newspapers, books, journals and magazines, sharing space with the ebooks and webpages. In many respects, printing and digital media coexist with one another, each making the same contribution that has always made printing so vitally important: facilitating the transmission of literature and ideas.