Printed paper continues to be valuable for a variety of reasons. It not only creates deep emotional connections to the content it holds, but it also engages multiple senses, creates a feeling of reliability, and helps us retain information and focus our attention. But when it comes to interacting with paper or screens, what do consumers prefer? The Mopria Alliance recently released a survey to address the emotional value tied to paper use as a communication medium and the preferences of consumers for printed versus digital.
Balancing on and Off Time is A Challenge
Screen time balance represents an obstacle for almost everyone. Whether for yourself or for your children, the survey uncovers an underlying issue that exists amongst the majority of respondents, where people are struggling to find the right balance between on- and off-screen time. This issue may also be accentuated by the fact that most of us are still working from home and have to balance not only on-and-off screen time but also work and life. As highlighted in the survey, users are often choosing to read books or articles made of paper as a way to take a break from their screens.
Some Tasks Showcase a Strong Paper Preference
While consumers use both digital and paper to communicate, the survey shows that there are some specific tasks where users express their strong predilection for paper. 51% of respondents state that when writing lists or taking notes, paper is their go-to. 43% of respondents also indicate they prefer reading a book using a paper version, rather than digital (e-reader). And what’s even more interesting is that those respondents who prefer paper show a very strong liking for it and would have a difficult time switching to digital formats. Almost 2/3 of them would feel awful without a paper book, and 61% of respondents would feel terrible if they couldn’t use paper to write a list or keep track of events.
Digital is for Speed, Paper Does it All
When asked to describe the main reasons for using either paper or digital devices, the survey revealed an exciting fact. While digital is mostly used because of its speed and convenience, paper checks all the boxes: from helping consumers to focus on the task at hand, to making them feel good and less tired, to even allowing them to do things faster.
So, what goes behind using paper, and why do so many users still choose that over digital in their everyday life? The survey by Mopria addresses this question and unearths some noteworthy data.
On the one hand, digital can be damaging. Respondents say that digital devices can make them feel distant from the world around them and lose human connections. As digital can increase the feeling of being alone, it can also make consumers feel overly connected through work – ever had that feeling of guilt when you don’t email your colleague right away? On the other hand, paper is deemed to improve focus and simply “feels better”. From keeping track of tasks to allowing your eyes to rest better, to feeling more productive and comprehending more, the reasons why paper is still top-of-mind for consumers are endless.
The findings disclosed in the survey conducted by the Mopria Alliance confirm that users understand the unique value of paper. Although we live in an increasingly digital world, print is loved and the survey confirms it, proving that paper continues to be an incredibly effective means of communication.