National News

Physical and Digital Dilemma


With the digital age being present, multiple genres of media such as books, movies, music, and games are becoming digitalized. However, while downloading the latest movie release seems convenient, some people might like getting a physical disc more. There is no getting around that both media types have pros and cons to them. With the pros and cons of both, a lot more choices have opened up to the buyers of all kinds of media.
For physical media, the feeling of owning a solid copy is increased as the buyer can hold the media of choice in their own hands. There is also the idea of collecting that many buyers of physical media have dedicated their time too such as vinyl record collectors, DVD collectors, book series collectors, etc. Another good thing about physical copies is the lower chance of losing the physical copy. Some issues with physical media is that they are more susceptible to scratches, cracks, and other kinds of wear and tear. Also, there is a lack of convenience in the extension in which the media can be used such as DVD’s not being compatible to phones, unlike downloadable movies.
Digital media has the idea of convenience at its side, making just the push of a button bring up anything from a book to an old movie to the buyer. There is also the convenience of folders and libraries at the disposal of the buyer, making it easy for them to collect different kinds of media, organize it, and have less physical space taken up in their homes by their tastes in media. As for damages, there normally are none due to the media being held on a technological device of some kind. While convenient, there are some drawbacks to buying digital copies as well, such as viruses that can cause deletion of some files which can cost more money if they aren’t backed up. Another issue is the lack of authenticity and feel of owning the product.
With the expansion of technological finds bringing new convenient advancements into digital media, a lot more people have joined its digital usage. However, recently some old forms of physical media have come back due to popularity. For example, vinyl records have become popular to own once again and are being sold in stores such as Barnes and Nobles, Books a Million, and Hot Topic. While movies have been placed online on sites such as Netflix and Amazon, a multitude of individuals still have decided to buy a physical copy from a local store rather than a digital copy.
When polled, students on Saint Leo campus have also shown that they too choose buying a physical copy of media rather than a digital copy. While being raised in the 1990’s or earlier might be the cause of more individuals on campus being more influenced towards this choice, it only shows that society has hit a stalemate between digital media and physical media. While one is convenient, the other is nostalgic and nostalgia can hit home more than convenience can for some.

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