Printing Press: How does printing affect our society today?

Printing has affected modern society by influencing its very evolution across centuries. Since the early modern era, it has been the critical engine through which the transmission of ideas and discourse has been spread. In this respect, it continues to play an important role in the modern age, even as it coexists with digital media.

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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.

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The invention of the printing press had a huge impact on the past and continues to impact our lives today. Printing allowed ideas to curiculate quickly and cheaply. Oringinally, the printing press was used mostly for books, pamphets, and newspapers. Now, we use printing for almost everything. We print clothing, license plates, coupons, advertisements, and many other everyday items besides the standard books and newspapers. If you look around the room you're sitting in right now, I bet you can find lots of printed materials. Of course, technology has begun to evolve beyond the printing press. We often read printed materials on computer or smart phone screens, but printing is still important.
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Printing and the ability to share texts with a wide audience affects us in the same way it affected people hundreds of years ago. As the world grows more and more literate, printing allows ideas to travel around the world to read and thought about, and perhaps influence others. The ability of computers to share print/text is making the world a smaller and small place each day.

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Printing affects our society today in the ways already indicated. If anything, we have many, many more options when we do printing today than people had even 30 years ago.  Even the simplest computers provide access to all kinds of fonts and formats.  It's possible for one person, working alone at home, to produce printed products that look as if they were professionally designed. The rise of computers has paradoxically benefitted the art of printing.

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There's more printed media since the Age of Computers, it's just not in the traditional forms of newspaper and book.  Now that everyone has a computer with a printer attached, (or at least access to one) anything can be printed.  As noted, this may be the interim age when printing is at a maximum; with new devices like the IPad, the need for even individuals to print out on paper may finally end.

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As much as technology has advanced, I still love holding an actual book in my hands. I feel as if there is no feeling like the turning of a page. Not only can I see my progression, I also look at it metaphorically: each turned page brings something new. I, therefore, am still a paper junkie.

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I think it's funny that computers are always supposed to take the place of paper, yet we still have as much paper as ever. I would like to think that some day we can truly go mostly wireless and paperless. I think devices like the one I am typing on now, an iPad, certainly help... but we will always need paper.
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Printing per se doesn't affect us as much as it once did since we use electronic texts so much, but it's still really important.  The most obvious example is in how much it helps us to become educated.  Printing technology makes it possible for children in schools to have all sorts of books that help them learn.  Were it not for printing, this would not be possible.  We would be much less educated and our society would therefore be less advanced technologically.

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