In a recent study to better understand the effects of looking at printed photos compared to digital photos had on families, the research found an overwhelming number of families agreed that printed photos strengthen families and have positive benefits for children.
Chatbooks and HP along with the support of developmental pyschologists, conducted focus groups and research interviews to better understand how American families experience looking at printed photos.
This study of family behaviour and how printed photos can strengthen family connections is just too important not to share!
15,591 families were surveyed to “explore their habits printing photos, their experience interacting with printed vs. digital photos, and their emotions and associated behaviours during or prompted by these interactions.“
After the results were analyzed, the findings around the immediate and long-term effects of interacting with printed photos was Printed Photos Strengthen Families.
“Looking at and talking about printed photos is an activity that strengthens feelings of connection and closeness for families. A strong majority of respondents agree that family connection is initiated by printed photos better than by digital photos.“
THE PRINTED PHOTO VS. DIGITAL PHOTO RESULTS ARE IN
The findings show :
- 76% of families surveyed agree printed photos help my family to connect in ways they wouldn’t normally with digital photos
- 88% agree they feel closer to their family when they look at photos of their family
- 86% appreciate their family more when looking at family photos
- 77% feel a stronger connection to their child(ren) when looking at family photos
- 73% feel a stronger connection to their spouse/partner when they look at family photos
- 79% agree that looking at printed photos is a shared family experience
- 2.5x more people agree that looking at printed photos is a shared experience vs. looking at digital photos
- A majority of parents reported that looking at and talking about printed photos is an activity that their children enjoy, and which has immediate emotional impact and long-term psychological benefit
- 91% agree their child loves looking at photos of themself
- 78% agree their child likes to look at photos and talk about them together
“Parents reported their children experience increased self-esteem and stronger sense of identity from looking at printed photos.”
The findings also show that when looking at printed photos :
- 75% agree when their child looks at printed photos of their family it gives their child a stronger sense of their own identity
- 62% agree when their child looks at printed photos of their family it increases their child’s self-esteem
- 83% believe looking at family photos strengthens their child’s connection to their family
- 68% believe looking at family photos enhances their child’s imagination and storytelling abilities
Parents report that looking at printed photos reinforces positive emotions for their children and feel :
- 80% happy
- 79% loved
- 68% special
- 67% valued as a member of the family
- 67% a sense of belonging within the family
- 61% important
We’ve looked at how printed photos benefit children, but what about parents? The parents surveyed reported that looking at printed photos of their family increases their belief in their capabilities as a parent. Leading to positive outcomes for families including reduced parental anxiety, higher quality parent-child interactions, and higher self-esteem for children.
68% agree looking at family photos makes them feel
like they are doing a good job as a parent.
In this study, parents reported that looking at printed photos ignites family conversations and find them reminiscing about past memories.
Evidence shows that when parents discuss the past in detail, with emotion and a collaborative way, there are positive benefits for kids such as improved language and literacy skills, improved memory development and stronger understanding of who they are. Additionally, knowledge of past history is linked to several positive outcomes for children and adolescents including higher self-esteem and lower rates of depression and anxiety.
When a family looks at printed photos together :
- 84% agree it sparks telling stories/memories
- 81% agree they tell stories about their family
- 78% agree their child(ren) asks them questions
- 67% agree they talk about their emotions such as happiness, frustrations and sadness
- 61% agree they ask questions of their child
- 77% agree their child(ren) know more about things that have happened in their family when sharing printed photos
- 74% agree they reminisce more frequently about the past
- 71% agree their child(ren) know more about their extended family
- 71% agree they talk with their child(ren) about the people and events in their life more frequently than they otherwise would
92% agree printed photos are a helpful tool
to share their family story with their child(ren)
Research links a number of positive outcomes for children and adolescents who reminisce about the past with their family, and thus have a strong knowledge of their family history. The positive outcomes include fewer behaviour problems, better coping skills, stronger emotional well-being, higher self-esteem, lower rates of depression and anxiety.
The survey also reported that looking at printed photos helps the participants and their children to remember important life events.
- 91% agree looking at printed photos helped them to remember events and details that they would have otherwise forgotten
- 90% agree printed photos help them remember all the things their family has been through together, both good and hard
- 86% agree printed photos has helped their child have more memories of their childhood ( ~maybe this is partially why I don’t have many memories of my childhood … haha )
When the participants of the study were asked about their preference and interactions with printed photos vs. digital photos, participants identified the key differences of looking at printed photos in direct comparison to digital photos, the printed photos prompts more positive emotions, causes fewer negative emotions and is more often a shared activity.
- 6x more adults prefer looking at printed photos in direct comparison to digital photos
- 4x more children (according to their parents) prefer looking at printed photos in direct comparison to digital photos
- 82% agree they feel better showing their child(ren) photos of themselves printed vs. on their phone
In relation to positive emotions felt when looking at printed photos compared with digital photos, the printed photos came out on top.
- 10% felt happier when looking at printed photos compared to digital photos
- 18% felt more loved when looking at printed photos compared to digital photos
- 17% felt more grateful when looking at printed photos compared to digital photos
- 7% felt more connected when looking at printed photos compared to digital photos
- 21% felt more loving when looking at printed photos compared to digital photos
- 16% felt more fulfilled when looking at printed photos compared to digital photos
Generations experience printed photos and digital photos differently.
Millennials/Gen Y (born between 1981 and 1996) experienced more negative emotions when looking at digital photos more severely than other generations. In fact when Millenials/Gen Y were looking at digital photos on a screen reported feeling 17x more jealous, 10x more anxious and 7x more lonely than other generations.
Millennials/Gen Y prefer looking at printed photos more than Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) or Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964).
But Gen X and the Baby Boomers didn’t escape the negative impact when looking at digital photos on a screen either. When Gen X were looking at digital photos on a screen reported feeling 14x more jealous, 9x more anxious and 4x more lonely. While the Baby Boomers were 12x more jealous, 6x more anxious and 1x more lonely.
- 65% of Millenials/Gen Y prefer looking at printed photos vs. digital photos
- 62% of Gen X prefer looking at printed photos vs. digital photos
- 50% of Baby Boomers prefer looking at printed photos vs. digital photos
We would put the different experiences the generations have between looking at printed photos and digital photos to the fact that the different generations grew up with different cameras and looking at photos in different ways. Preceding the early to mid 2000’s people and families used film cameras. Film cameras weren’t as accessible as digital cameras are today plus there was a cost involved in purchasing the film and processing the photos and with 36 frames/exposures per roll, film wan’t cheap. It wasn’t until the early to mid 2000’s when digital cameras were made available to the general public that people and families started taking more photos as cameras became more accessible plus you just uploaded the digital files to your computer so there was no cost to process your photos like with film, plus more photos were being captured than ever before.
The study revealed several insights into photo printing habits for 2019 including who and what is featured most in printed photos, with the majority of people printing everyday moments.
Here are the statistics of what was captured most often in the last 12 months and photos printed :
- 57% everyday moments
- 24% travel photos
- 9% family portraits
- 8% special events
- 3% holiday snaps
And what was the most common subject matter in those printed photos?
- #1 My Children
- #2 My Spouse
- #3 My Pet
- #4 My Friends
- #5 My Extended Family
- #6 My Parents
- #7 My Siblings
The findings can’t be denied that the impact of printed photos far outweighs digital photos, but beyond that, printed photos bring families closer together and make the members of the family feel loved and they belong.
With depression in young people and suicide numbers on the rise, every person and family needs to be doing everything in their power to help raise well-adjusted children, and while printed photos aren’t going to save the world, the findings of this survey absolutely suggest that printing family photos has a positive outcome on families, so why don’t we give the printing our photos thing a go!