In a world that has embarked on a journey to becoming more and more digital, we have learned how to communicate with each other through digital avenues, whether via email, social media, podcasting, Zoom meetings and more. But as much as these channels are showing to be effective, living in a digital world can be overwhelming. It can be challenging to handle all the messages that are continuously thrown at us – have you ever talked about diapers with your friend who just had a baby, and suddenly an annoying “ad” pops up on Google showing you diapers? And you don’t even have a baby.
To take a break from the noise created by a digital world, there is still one channel that continues to prove its ability to stick in consumers’ minds: print. We are indeed in 2021, and print is nowhere near dead. In fact, more technologies are coming out to connect the bridge between print and digital – like the Mopria Print Service App, which allows you to connect and print to any Mopria certified printer from your Android device without any additional set-ups.
So, why is it that print still comes out on top? The answer is quite simple: paper is reliable. It can’t be hacked, or corrupted by a virus. It’s what most people grew up using and trusting. But beyond these explanations, there is a more scientific reason: the human brain does a lot better with information that’s presented in a physical format.
What Lies Behind Our Brain?
When it comes to processing, internalizing, and acting upon information, paper is still vital for learning. Over the years, there have been several studies conducted on how the brain digests information. These studies show that humans use different parts of the brain depending if they’re reading from paper or reading online. While traditional “linear reading” tracks left-to-right, top-to-bottom, start-to-finish, reading online is non-linear. As a matter of fact, online readers face a crowd of digital distractions — pop-up ads, banners, navigation menus, etc. — which means top-to-bottom, start-to-finish reading is frequently interrupted. Remember the ad about diapers we just talked about?
When reading from paper, you can better isolate yourself from those distractions, which can help you process your thoughts better than you could with digital tools. In fact, according to one of our recent surveys, even workers believe that the ability to easily print and read from paper helps them overcome distractions that they face at work, whether at the office or remote.
Print also involves more emotional processing, which is important for retaining information. Physical materials have been found to improve memory by engaging with the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain where episodic memories are formed and indexed for later access. In fact, studies continue to be released throughout the years, showing that readers find scrolling through digital media to be mentally draining, as they have to move and comprehend the text at the same time. Though the content is the same, readers have difficulty in absorbing the details.
Although our world will continue to move in the direction of a digital space, print remains on top. Consumers can’t let go of the smell of paper, or the feeling of turning pages. And our brains can’t either. All these factors show that physical print continues to deliver a higher level of satisfaction and comprehension for most consumers.