No.3 Letter From The Editor – October

They say time flies when you’re having fun. This year certainly has flown – most of us are still wondering where the time went. (If you just paused to ask yourself what today’s date is, then I’m talking about you, too.)

Life moves quickly, but that happens in part because we’ve trained ourselves to process everything at the speed of Wifi.

We publicize our innermost thoughts, 140 characters at a time, and immediately forget them. We live our lives through our keyboards; we are extensions of our smart phones and tablets – rather than the other way around.

It’s rare that we really stop and exist in any moment for very long. As soon as we get there it’s like, “Pics or it didn’t happen.” Once we feel we’ve sufficiently captured and labeled the moment, we move on to the next. But that’s not true of all of us. If you’re still reading this, then it’s not true of you.

What we’ve noticed over the past year is that you, our readers, are a bit different from the norm. You tend to pause and take it all in.

CALLOUTletterThe average person spends less than 59 seconds on a website, and most of that time is spent clicking a new link every few seconds, darting from one item to the next. The average person is more likely to share an article than to read it. Clicking doesn’t translate to reading, at all. We’ve become a largely skim-and-scan society.

The difference with Paper Saint readers? You spend roughly 10-15 minutes at a time reading an article on the Paper Saint website. What makes the difference? It’s just who you are. You aren’t given to snap judgments and you aren’t looking for quick fixes. You really care about the story.

What’s my point? I know we started the “dig deep and discover” thing, but what we now realize is that we can take a lesson from our readers. Internet science (which is totally a thing, believe it or not) tells us that most people don’t read. It tells us that we’d do a heck of a lot better if we gave you click-bait and other shiny objects that you could show off to your friends and care so-very-much about for the next 59 seconds. But you’ve shown us something different. You’ve shown us that if we are willing to invest our time in giving you something to really take in, then you are willing to slow down, take a moment and discover the story behind the story.

For us here at Paper Saint, every moment matters, and curiosity keeps the moments interesting. Curiosity, along with a willingness to see the seemingly mundane in a new way, rebuilds the sense of adventure that sometimes gets buried in day-to-day drudgery. That’s where the story lies – behind the scenes that are behind the scenes. And there is more than one way to tell a story. A story can exist in colorful prose, or in as little as a few words, or a single image. The true telling of the story lies in the connection between the storyteller and the reader. There is rich narrative in both words and images, and it is up to the reader to take it in and decide what to do with it. The key is being willing to pause, be in the moment, storyteller and reader together, and see where it takes us. As we always say, we’re going everywhere. Join us.

 

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