Two Sides U.S. Survey: More Respondents Prefer Reading from Paper Than Screens
A new survey into the preferences of consumers for printed versus digital communications has been published by Two Sides, the global organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper. The survey, which was commissioned by Two Sides and undertaken by international research company Toluna, sought the opinions and preferences of U.K. and U.S. consumers on a number of issues relating to the change from paper-based to digital media.
Results of the U.S. survey highlighted that 88 percent of respondents indicated that they understood, retained or used information better when they read print on paper compared to lower percentages (64 percent and less) when reading on electronic devices. The same trend was found for reading complicated documents with 80 percent indicating a clear preference for reading print on paper, and reading on screens showing a much lower preference than print at below 16 percent across all age groups.
The survey also revealed 81 percent found printed media more relaxing to read, while 62 percent of mobile/smartphone users (rising to 73 percent among the 18- to 24-year-olds) were concerned about how these devices were damaging their health (eye strain, headaches, insomnia). Overall, the survey reported that 81 percent of respondents preferred to read print on paper when given the choice.
"The results of this U.S. survey will be useful for all those who choose the way in which information is distributed, particularly for advertisers, marketers and educators who need to understand how information is being delivered, received, processed and retained," explained Phil Riebel, president of Two Sides North America. "While on-screen reading occupies an increasing amount of consumer time, people's preferences are still for reading print on paper which they believe to be more informative, less distracting and less harmful to their health. Results also show that many people are concerned about the effects on learning and literacy due to the switch from printed books to digital media in our school system."