Paperless Pipe-Dream – Are We Missing the Point

The typically inquisitive mind cannot help but follow this world’s current affairs, even if only on a small scale where you pick up little bits and pieces of what’s going on in the world through the evening news, online, or just by chatting to people about the current affairs. One thing you’ll have undoubtedly picked up though is that trends come and go, particularly those which seem to grab the entire world by storm. What’s the hottest piece in the news fades away into the background rather quickly, only to be long forgotten as a new fad takes the world by storm.

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If we talk about trends such as those in fashion then this ebbing and flowing of the various trends isn’t really a cause for any concern, but what’s rather disturbing is how all trends seem to come and go, including those which have a lot to do with the development and progression of the human race. Perhaps the most pressing example of such trends dying out a bit too quickly is none other than the famed Millennium Development Goals which were tabled by the United Nations. One could perhaps remember just how enthusiastic a lot of people were about this emerging trend of targeting basic humanitarian issues which are still a cause for concern on a global scale and yet like all other trends, this enthusiasm seems to have subsided considerably and has almost fallen completely by the way side. The only real mention of the UN’s Global Development Goals is when they come under some criticism for never really materialising or making any tangible lasting impact on some of the targeted humanitarian issues identified.

You zone-in on environmental issues as well and it’s much of the same really. I mean what ever happened to the “going green” revolution which was hot on everybody’s lips, or the “reduce, recycle and re-use” slogan everybody recited any chance they got? The same applies to the “going paperless” dream — a pipe-dream as many might rightfully refer to it. That office copier you take for granted and use every day is still as important as it was a few years ago, yet somewhere along the line there was a clear resolution to go completely paperless at some stage.

With specific reference to the resolution to go paperless, as a means through which to perhaps have less of an impact on the environment, it’s a good example of how we appear to be failing as the human race in many of the goals we have set out for our development. As someone who is fully immersed in the tech and business worlds however, I don’t necessarily view failure as a bad thing. The only gripe I have about all these resolutions we appear to be making is that we never really take a step back and take the time to analyse how far we’ve come and how much closer we may be to achieving those goals.

If we did take the time to do an analysis of each of those goals with a bit of experience we’ve garnered in trying to realise those goals, some modifications could be made and we could still be on track to achieving what is indeed achievable. So there’s nothing wrong with using paper as much as you still do for instance, quite simply because going completely paperless is currently not as practical as we may have thought it’d be by now.