“Digital Age Youth” Prefer Paper for Personal and Business Use
Despite a strong connection to digital and social media, young American adults continue to prefer paper documents for basic personal and business communications, according to a 2011 survey of several hundred so-called “Millennials” (aged 16-16).
For a survey of 600 young adults, TRU (a division of TNS Research Global), conducted online interviews with three groups (aged 16-18, 19-22 and 23-26, equal number male and female participants). Of these, 88 % were single and 60 % employed.
The results contradict preconceived notions of what “digital age youth” are value as different modes of communication.
Among the results:
Millennials’ digital format use of traditional paper documents includes electronic bank statements (79%), digital coupons (67%) and online newspapers (61%).
Millennials believe documents in digital formats are more environmentally friendly (92%), more up-to-date (91%) and easier to keep track of (76%).
Survey participants report an average use of 65 sheets of paper per week, with 26 for printing and 15 for writing. They send and receive four pieces of mail a day.
Consumption of paper increases with age: those 16-18 years old self-report using an average of 41 pieces of paper a week, those 19-22 use 57 pieces of paper and young adults aged 23-26 say they use 97 pieces a week.
Half of respondents believe paper companies are doing a good job of preserving resources. Eight of 10 say paper companies need to do more.
Eight of 10 respondents can’t imagine their lives without paper, while nine of out 10 doubt they’ll ever give paper up completely.
Compared to digital documents, paper is “more official” (88 %), more trusted (82%), and easier to keep confidential (78 %).
More than 75% of those surveyed believe digital documents are less trustworthy, because they can be altered without your knowledge. More than 60% frequently print out documents for their records (even those they’ve saved electronically). And nearly 100% say they prefer to have hard copies of important documents.
“Millennials are living in a digital world,” notes TRU research director Kristi Sarmiento, “but paper continues to play a significant role. There is a place for paper in their lives.”
(Thanks to our friends at Print in the Mix for sharing news of this survey.)
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