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The Death Knell of Print Newspapers and Magazines – It Started in the Bathroom

I have seen the death of printed newspapers and magazines.

It all started with a full bladder. Seeking relief I headed towards the men’s room. As I approached it, I noticed the odd sight of a gentleman ahead of me approaching the same chamber with a laptop in his hands, screen up.

Entering right behind him, I saw him make a beeline for a stall. 

I noted that this particular men’s room had an empty magazine rack and wondered if the fellow had a wireless Internet connection on the laptop as I broke off in the other direction for the urinals.

What does a man do with a laptop while perched on the toilet?

Perhaps he was using the heat of power source to keep his lap warm while his trousers were dropped.

Was he working on a spreadsheet? Reading e-mail? Browsing a newspaper’s website? Downloading a Harlequin eBook? Enjoying or something even more adventurous?

The loud plop coming from the other side of the men’s room seemed to rule out a more adventurous activity, but it caused concern of the laptop taking some splash-back if it wasn’t properly shielded. Alas, this doesn’t bode well for the print publishers. In recent years, print advocates would list the bathroom as one of those places where hard copy just couldn’t be replaced. 

That’s not what I saw today, so I suppose are left with two interpretations: either it’s a sad day for print publishers… or that guy was just a real freak.

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  1. Hmmm. Wonder what the guy uses for tiolet paper if he finds out there’s none left in his stall? Print still has one up regarding that dilemma.

  2. “print advocates would list the bathroom as one of those places where hard copy just couldn’t be replaced. ”

    But it has been for years – the more geeky amongst us have been using our phones to read books for years. Indeed, this generation of phones now provide the screen sizes that makes it far more pleasurable than in the past. This is before we get onto ereaders and the impact they will have in the near future (I think we are a couple of technical generations of ereaders being mainstream – so 4 or 5 years, maximum).

  3. An iPhone works quite well, too. Alas, I would hate to use as TP, even in an emergency. And did you have to use the word ‘plop’? I didn’t need that level of detail.

  4. I’ll own up to using a Blackberry in similar circumstances, but a laptop seems excessive. My question isn’t just about a lack of toilet paper–what do you do with the laptop when there is TP? There’s nowhere to balance it, and trying to hold it under your arm while your hands are otherwise engaged is a recipe for disaster. Next time, a little more investigation, please.

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