The space required to store paper documents can be a problem. Digitizing your documents renders them exquisitely portable--you can store an entire library on your e-book reader with ease. And because paper documents can be turned into editable computer documents, they become searchable. Compare typing "Roosevelt" in a search field with spending all day scanning microfiche and old newspapers by eye to research the Square Deal or the New Deal. The digital document is a boon to researchers the world over.
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Today the digital camera is ubiquitous, but photos used to be taken by momentarily exposing something called "film" to light. Yes, film--the ode to photo-sensitive chemical reactions that produced all of the pictures made before 1990 or so. Those images were, and quite often still are, transferred to photo paper and pasted into coffee table albums. Sometimes they were processed into transparent 35mm slides and projected onto white screens for everyone's enjoyment (or boredom, depending).
In my lifetime, music has been delivered on vinyl, cassettes, eight-track tapes, CDs, and audio DVDs. How do I listen to it now? Usually with a PC or a smartphone, and occasionally with an MP3 or other media player. I downloaded much of that music or ripped it from CDs, but the rest of it came from LPs and cassettes.
When I signed up for a Twitter account in the summer of 2009 I spent some time thinking about whether or not I should protect my tweets. As a novice Twitter user, I had to decide whether the benefits of protecting my tweets outweighed the drawbacks. Looking back, I do not regret my decision to protect my tweets, and I'll tell you why.