Before yesterday's debate about these two types of Chinese at LXP, I didn't know that this problem bothers some people and that Traditional Chinese writers can read Simplified Chinese easily.
Highlights of the debate:
Traditional side: Traditional Chinese is the carrier of the 5000-year-long Chinese culture. Ancient Chinese articles, poems, and books are written in Traditional Chinese. A lot of the cultural essence is thrown away in Simplified Chinese.
Simplified side: Simplified Chinese can be written efficiently. Modern society's economy benefits from efficiency. Therefore, Simplified Chinese is more suitable for economy development, especially when you want to do business with the billion-population Mainland China, where people mainly use Simplified Chinese. For those who care about the lost culture, they can learn Traditional Chinese to get it back.
Traditional side: Since Simplified Chinese is derived from Traditional Chinese, if you only know Traditional Chinese, you can still read Simplified Chinese without much effort, but if you only know Simplified Chinese, you probably have difficulty reading Traditional Chinese.
Simplified side: Simplified Chinese is easier to learn and thus easier to attract learners from all over the world, while the complexity of Traditional Chinese scares away a chunk of potential learners.
Traditional side: The Traditional character of "love", "愛", contains the "heart" character "心", while there's no "heart" in the Simplified character. Without a heart, how can you love?
Simplified side: The Simplified version "爱" has a "friend", "友", on the bottom. And a friend is whom you give love to.
My opinion: Decades ago, it might not be the best idea to simplify Chinese, but as it is already simplified today, people in Mainland China should keep using it. Although Traditional Chinese is the cultural carrier of the past thousands of years, Simplified Chinese has carried the culture of the past decades and will carry more in future. At the same time, Traditional Chinese regions should keep using Traditional Chinese so as to preserve and enrich the culture in it. Changing to Simplified Chinese is futile for them. I believe that for a very long time, if not forever, both types of Chinese will coexist and chip in the Chinese culture together. I'm glad that in Chinese classes students can use whichever type of Chinese they like.