I think that there is often a feeling that as new outlets of media are formed, others become obsolete. Or, at least, we think that they have to become obsolete in order to make room for new technology.
While Millennials and Gen Z’s are infamously known for their high percentage of screen time and push for a consistent revolution in the digital realm, our reliance and interest in traditional media is far from obsolete, it is just constantly evolving.
As a recent graduate from college, one of the things that stood out to me the most in my classes was the drastic change from physical text books and printed reading material to eText books, online worksheets, etc. I was never one to enjoy absorbing all of my reading material through a computer screen, and while I initially felt like one of the few students who saw it that way, a recent 2015 by Sappi, a global paper and packaging company, found that “92% of college students surveyed said they prefer reading in print over any form of electronic media. Respondents explained that a physical printed piece has less distractions than viewing material online and results in less eye strain and headaches.”
Daniel Dejan of Sappi North America made a really relatable, and I personally think, very true point when he stated that “Millennials use print differently. They use print to complement their digital consumptions whereas older demographics use digital to compliment print”
Another study conducted by Quad/Graphics, “one of the nation’s largest printers, ‘found nearly half of Millennials surveyed made a purchase because of something they read about in a magazine’.”
Outside of print, TV and Radio are constantly finding themselves evolving as well. While we might have opted to consume our favorite TV channels through an internet-connected Smart TV instead of through a traditional cable package or satellite dish, consumers are still dedicating a significant amount of their screen time to what still has the roots of traditional television.
Radio streaming services have become fully integrated into the everyday lives of its consumers. Radio and music consumption can now be accessed from almost anywhere; whereas, the traditional radio boundaries stopped after long commutes to work or once you were out of range of the radio speakers that sat in the living room of your home.
While we are constantly innovating and diving deeper into our relationship with media on a digital level, I find that it is important to remember that just because we have made room for something new, it doesn’t mean that traditional media methodologies need to cease to exist. We are simply learning to fine tune and remodel the wheel rather than reinvent it.