Everything will eventually go electronic and paperless. Even American money is made of cloth, not paper. Going paperless is a way to save the environment as fewer trees will be cut down. Paperless documents are more efficient, can be sent through information lines instead of through the mail, and devices can be carried by people that can store dozens of documents.
Electronics have all the same functionality of paper, you can type, buy things (online), and even draws with software like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP. Electronics has the same things as paper but improved. It can be stored easier, shared faster, you can buy things faster than with paper money, etc. The point is electronics is a medium like paper but with more features.
Whilst industrial and hygienic applications will persist the trend of the last decade would merely have to continue at the same pace for paper to become obsolete for the most part, and that isn't even considering further technological advancements. Having said that boutique and artistic applications for paper will persist and possibly grow in the future.
In our modern society, papers are not as necessary as in the past. We have tablets and smart phones, which are as portable as papers. However, in this year and decade, we still use papers. Baby boomers and the older generations prefer papers. There are some thing that I prefer to use papers because I like to scribble or take notes on a piece of paper. Therefore, tablets are still more expensive than papers. Tablets are still new and not everyone has one. Later on in the future, tablets will be less expensive and more people will purchase one. Same thing about automobiles. In the early 20th Century, people still used horses. Have you seen anyone use papers in Star Trek and Star Wars movies and shows? Absolutely not! Yes, tablets will be the next generation of papers.
The storage of Electronic records and transfer of records in a secure manner is far superior than that of paper. The world will be a much cleaner and more efficient place without the use of paper. Just think of the savings in books, newspapers, college textbooks that can all be saved and should help lower costs for a number of businesses.
Can you really imagine paper still being used as an every day material in the year 3000 AD? I certainly cannot. Newspapers, books, notepads, calendars, amongst many other things, are on the verge of becoming obsolete thanks to modern technology. This greatly reduces the amount of deforestation and pollution caused by the paper making process. Paper making factories are closing their doors across the developed world, and with good reason. It's a dying industry that will most likely disappear during our lifetimes.
Paper is already in decline, and technology will very soon provide a much better alternative with super high resolution, ultra thin tablets able to store a national library's worth of books on a single device. The problem today is that tablets are not yet convenient nor common enough to replace paper.
Look at the current trend, people relied on paper less than 50 years ago. Now, suddenly, we have about half our data on electronic devices, and half on paper. In fact, a lot of that paper is printed from an electronic device. This is generalizing, and it varies from person to person, but look at it this way. If one day, for whatever reason, our computers just deleted all their saved data, we'd be pretty much buggered. But, if for some reason, we couldn't use paper for whatever reason, we'd be initially a bit flustered, but we'd get over it pretty quick. Reliance on computer data is growing, reliance on paper is decreasing.
I think the death of paper is coming soon. At this point of time, we live in a digital age. More and more of our lives are focused on our electronics and we can do more and more things with those electronics. Electronics allow a level of organization of documents and ideas that isn't as easy with paper - since paper is physical they can get out of order or be crumpled up by accident or all sorts of other things that just make them less good to use in general. This problem doesn't exist with electronics and I think that's why our society will move towards using "electronic paper" instead of physical paper more and more as time goes on.
Paper will never become obsolete ! We still have many needs for paper. We can read electronic versions of some books, but we can not electronically wipe our buts. Does anyone like coloring books ? My kids enjoy painting and coloring pictures. Take the damage caused from hurricane Sandy in the North East for example. What good will your electronics do in the event of a power outage.
I do not think that it will. I think there are a lot of people out there who still like to have a hard copy of things just in case some thing happens to my computer I still have my work. I think that it will become less and less used but never obsolete.
In an office setting it's much better to hold a copy of a report in hand, or read through an article. Paper documents are also used for physical storage, plus who wants to look at blueprints for a piece of equipment on a screen, when you could have a hard copy right there with you.
Paper may be used less. But as many before me have said' it has to much of a cultural significance to be rendered obsolete. Emergency situations,books, notes just to name a few! A tablet could never replace the comforting feeling a book can provide. And children are being force fed information take it from me a 12 year old.
Simple - one of the simplest mediums of art is paper-driven creations. From pencil drawing to textured homemade paper, art is the primary reason paper will never die out as a communication form. To those who envision a "paperless society" - take away ALL the things RIGHT NOW that involves paper in their lives - take all the paper art off the walls, all photos, remove all books, etc. from businesses & homes and THEN have that person tell you how paper affects their life.
Paper has been around for 1000's of years and is still used today. We've all seen how rapidly technology has become obsolete. The first iPhone came out about 8 years ago and who still has one? Books on the the other are still read from 100+ years ago. Paper is also much more reliable than any technology. It will always be there without having to be charged or connected to the internet. Paper is too central to our culture and its needs.
I believe that someday...Maybe we will need paper more than anything. Paper does not need power, or charging, or a sign up to access it. Simply getting a library card and researching a topic would need paper. What happens if there is a massive web site crash because of future DDoS hackers? Paper may not be as popular, but it will always be needed.
Drop a book off a ten story building. Drop any e reader at the same time. Compare which one you're more likely to be able to read. Yeah was kind of thinking this. Crude but to the point. Long live the written form in all of its papered glory. Thank you.
It's gonna take a while and is not for tomorrow. In 20 years sending invoices and ads by postal mail will be silly. Paper will never disappear but will become more expensive. E-ink will improve and include color, and hard copy books will eventually stopped being produced.
Paper will continue to exist for sending important postcards, love letters, drugs instructions, restaurant menus, graduation certificates (which will also exist in a digitally verifiable version)...
Receipts will be available in paper, but people paying electronically will get a "digital receipt" for all their payments as a bonus and won't need the paper version.
Money will continue to exist in its today form, but all shops and vending machines will accept some form of digital payment without fees.
To sum my opinion up, I think paper will not disappear and retain all its qualities and people will appreciate it, but digital media will be much more convenient and will be used *a lot* more than paper. It will be the same as analogue and digital photography.
Film photography is great but costs more, you have to carry film around, send it to a lab, very few "post processing" possible (cropping, black and white). People end up taking more photographs with digital cameras and it's very convenient to share moments in a few seconds.
Paper is still needed in many occasions. If something ever happened where you don't have any electronics, you're going to need something on paper. Don't forget, cash is made out of paper. Cash will never be obsolete unless everybody (including technology uneducated elders) has smartphones with NFC or they come up with a device that has NFC in it and is connected to your bank account. Documents might become fully electronic but cash will always be around.