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Liz Ciancone

December 18, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: No thanks to getting mags delivered via the Internet

I am a creature of habit. I like to know what I’m doing and I need to know how to do it. That’s why I am annoyed when corporate America seems determined to drag me, kicking and screaming into the age of Internet.

I have been weaned away from the typewriter, but I write — and print out — letters. I know how to send messages from my computer, via heaven knows what mysterious air waves, to the computer at the Tribune-Star. However, I provide my email address to only a few valued friends and family members.

I don’t want friends of friends able to zap messages to me and dozens of their friends with the touch of a finger.

What has brought all this up is that Newsweek, my magazine of choice for news, has announced that it is going exclusively digital after Jan. 1. I hadn’t an inkling until the editorial comment about six weeks ago made that announcement. Unfortunately, it was announced a week or two after we had renewed our subscription.

I do not want to read a magazine on my computer. I want a printed magazine. I want to own it so that I can clip articles I want to reread or save.

The editor also noted that sending Newsweek via Internet would be automatic if they had my email address. She added that if we did not want to receive the Internet copy, they would “be in touch.”

I waited until shortly after the first of December to be touched. The magazine provided two toll-free telephone numbers: the first would enable me to provide my email address, the second offered to give me a choice of allowing them to pick an alternative news magazine or to return my money. I opted for a return of my money since I prefer to pick my own news sources.

Anyway, I called at various times of day and night. The phone was answered with the message that “Due to the high volume of calls they could not take my call.” I was advised to try again. I did. Many times. I finally got through the other day and I await my check.

I not only do not want my magazines on the Internet. I do not want to bank on the Internet, nor pay my bills on the Internet, nor shop on the Internet. I want to write letters, print them out and mail them.

I might reconsider if I could be assured that my business was inaccessible to hackers. I might, but then I am a creature of habit.

Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star reporter. Send e-mail to

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