Why Gen Y Is More Print-Friendly Than You Think
Millenials. The Digital Generation. Gen Y. There are different monikers for this generation, but the general characterization is of a younger person attached to their smartphone or other mobile device like a virtual umbilical cord. This is the generation that considers print about as useful a communication form as carrier pigeons, right?
The latest studies are indicating that this isn’t always the case. In fact, one current update from the Value of Print reports that “A recent study finds the new digital generation—teens, ages 12 to 17—generally have more favorable attitudes toward print, radio, and TV ads, than online ads. (Print in the Mix, U.S. Teens Prefer Offline Ads to Online.)
Actually, if you—or your customers—assume younger generations communicate solely on an electronic interface, it may be a surprise to learn that a significant number of college-age students today are choosing print for academic reading!
There are a number of misconceptions around how Gen Y students consume print material. In 2010 experts even predicted that eText (digital textbook) usage would rise more than 16%. However, this increase didn’t happen. (The Hays Daily News, Students Prefer Print).
In one study, "Student Reading Practices in Print and Electronic Media," by Nancy M. Foasberg, set to be published in the journal College & Research Libraries in September 2014, researchers tracked the reading habits of the College of New York students. What they found was not a group of digital-addicted zombies but rather scholars who crave the tangible effectiveness printed textbooks afford.
Key findings of the study:
- Although students used electronic media for non-academic reading, many rely on paper for academics.
- As it turns out, students like the interactivity that print allows—taking notes and highlighting on the page.
- Several students in the study expressed that they disliked the embedded links in eTexts because they were distracting.
- Some students use digital textbooks because their schools offer eBook deals. However those who have eBooks end up printing them out and cancelling out any money they may have saved.
By the Numbers