By Kelsey Mulvey
Every Edster remembers when she knew she wanted to work in magazines. For me, it was 2002. I was nine-years-old and a magazine editor came to my elementary school to talk about her job. My eyes lit up as she discussed interviewing celebrities and creating snappy one-liners for trend stories. “People actually get paid to do this?!” I thought.
In the months that followed, I would clench onto a behemoth InStyle and long for the days I would follow in that editor’s foot steps. Come middle school, I would race home to devour the latest Us Weekly — because didn’t we all care about Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, and Mischa Barton’s latest scandals? And by the time I turned 16, I graduated from teen mags and worshipped Glenda Bailey’s perfectly curated pages of Harper’s Bazaar.
So, like many of you, the past couple weeks left me shook. Nylon folded its print edition, several iconic editor- in-chief stepped down from their posts, and Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner is looking to sell his controlling stock in the company. After years of speculation, it feels like the death of print is finally upon us.
If you spent your formative years dog-earing fashion spreads and studying mastheads, this isn’t as blasé as replacing your VHS tapes for DVDs. Oh no, this is personal.
Writing was never something I “fell into;” it was what I knew I had to do. And print magazines made me feel it wasn’t some preposterous, pre-digital pipe-dream, but my calling. Each glossy page painted a picture of the strong, smart, stylish woman I wanted to become, reassuring me life would be bigger than petty high school drama.
When a magazine folds, it feels like you’re losing your best friend. For years, magazines would be the place we’d escape to in order to feel understood, and losing that shining beacon of hope is, well, heartbreaking.
Call me naive, but I refuse to give up on print — and here are five reasons why you shouldn’t, either.
1. Magazines give you a break from screen time
The average American spends more than 10 hours a day in front of a screen — and that’s not a good thing. Bustle claims too much screen time is linked to eye strain, metabolic syndrome, and pre-mature death. Eek! So if you ask me, ditching the dot com in favor for old fashioned print is good for your health.
2. No clickbait here
Digital publications feed the beast that is our 24/7 news cycle, but in an environment where SEO and traffic reign superior, creativity tends to take a back seat.
Not in print, where every word, image, and story idea is meticulously conceived, executed, and edited. Churning out five stories a day is hard work, but those lengthy, well-researched features remind us just how fun (and creative) journalism can be.
3. You can read them anywhere
You don’t need a strong WiFi connection or cell service to read a magazine. So if you’re hopping on a 16-hour flight with questionable WiFi or headed to a deserted beach, you’ll need a magazine to keep you company.
4. The fashion
There’s a reason September is the High Holy Month for Edsters: Each magazine pulls out all the stops and serves up some carefully planned (see #2), all-around luxurious fashion shoots. Some online publications produce original photoshoots, but they don’t hold a candle to the fashion spreads of yore. Yes, fashion is for everyone, regardless of your style, size, or salary, but there’s something deliciously aspirational about the worlds and lifestyles Avedon, Leibovitz, and Testino capture.
Sure, none of us can afford that $900 Vetements hoodie, but can’t a girl or guy dream?
5. Those smooth, glossy pages
Swiping, clicking, and scrolling is fine, but there’s nothing like touching a physical magazine. From carrying it home, to dog-earing your favorite stories, advertisements, and spreads, to carefully flipping each page, the entire experience feels more interactive than surfing the web. Opening up a new magazine gives you that same warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you crack open a new hardcover book. And if publishing houses are still churning out physical books, why not magazines?
Kelsey Mulvey is a New York-based writer and commerce reporter at Business Insider. She has written for several publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, LuckyMag.com, Taste of Home,Wallpaper.com. Check out more of her work at KelseyMulveyWrites.com and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.