More than half of Americans think we'll never go paperless (survey)

More than half of Americans think we'll never go paperless (survey)

Summary: Yet, surprisingly at least one fifth of Americans think we will eventually be a paper-free society.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware
7

Digital publishing, whether it be books, newspapers, or magazines, has grown in popularity significantly in the last year. Yet most Americans would agree that we're far off from being a paper-free society.

In fact, a new survey from Poll Position reports that more than half (56 percent) of Americans do not believe we will ever live in a paperless environment.

Yet, 20 percent of Americans still argued that a paperless society is possible, while 24 percent were undecided or had no opinion.

For reference, the report is based on the responses from more than survey of 1,142 registered voters who were surveyed via telephone on December 6.

Roughly one fifth of the adult population (based on this representative sample) believing that we could live without paper entirely is a significant amount of people.

Nevertheless, as much as I love and prefer paying bills online and reading all of my books and magazines on a tablet from now on, I still think it is a folly to believe that we will be able to live without paper -- at least not for the next few lifetimes, perhaps. (Also, it's unclear whether or not this study includes toilet paper use as well.)

There are definitely plenty of other instances where paper can easily be replaced, including using Eventbrite's mobile app rather than printing out the ticket, or even managing healthcare records and voting as these methods become more secure. But many times those cases depend on people owning mobile devices, which are still quite expensive for many consumers nationwide.

Thus, although it would great and more beneficial overall for us to cut down our paper use as much as possible, paper is still a very cost-effective and easier option for many purposes.

Related:

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

7 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: More than half of Americans think we'll never go paperless (survey)

    Paper is resistant to an EMP as well.
    hayneiii@...
  • RE: More than half of Americans think we'll never go paperless (survey)

    More of a stunt than a survey, as is so often the case.<br><br>Would have been much more interesting, and much more useful to have asked about 5, 10, 20 years ahead, and see how opinions gel with uptake of ebooks, downturn in newspapers, etc. - and people's views of how much - if not 100% - they expect electronic means to replace paper<br><br>As it stands, it's a snapshot of self selected people's idle musings.
    Heenan73
  • RE: More than half of Americans think we'll never go paperless (survey)

    I do not see it happening in my lifetime. I think digital media is an excellent means for economically storing and instantly delivering information to the masses. Hence for things that are largely "read once and recycle" (the daily newspaper), or things that for practicality lend themselves to extreme portability and easy file access (journal articles, textbooks), digital media will take over. However, paper will remain as an indelible record for people, be it contracts, favorite books, or the most precious family photos.
    oncall
  • Paperless and "paperless"...

    A supervisor at an electronics manufacturing company I do work for said about the shop floor going paperless "We've never printed more documentation than we currently go through now. Being paperless doesn't mean we don't print documentation, it means we don't keep it so that the next time it is needed it gets printed again." This is the reality of paperless operation in manufacturing facilities, where every shop floor workstation does not have a dedicated computer. Going paperless takes real planning and a thourough understanding of manufacturing requirements, otherwise it winds up being more costly in the long run.
    jasonp@...
  • There's a place for paper

    and it extends beyond the john. Now and into the foreseeable future.
    klumper
  • Paperless Voting

    As a full fledged nerd since the days of punch cards who things many more things can and should be automated, voting is one area where I am firmly convinced that paper ballots are the way to go. At least as far into the future as I can see.

    THE problem with electronic voting methods of any kind that I know of is that at some level they require someone to program a computer. Maybe using a high level ballot layout template so similar but it's programming all the same. And there is no real beta period. So ballots are live on their first use. This is just bad. And no matter what electronic ballots are not as secure as paper. Especially when it comes to recounts. If they record choices wrong, no one can ever go back and check.

    Paper works. We use it where I live. And unless there's a modem failure results are know county wide (just under 1 million people) about 30 minutes after the polls close.
    raleighthings
  • Old fashion books will stick around for a very long time.

    For a long time, I swore I would never get an e-reader. Books are such joyful objects. They are fun to hold, it feels good to flip pages, and they even smell good. But then last year, a friend let me use his Kindle and I quickly decided e-readers were not so bad after all. This year, I got one of my own for Christmas and I am already having a blast with it. I realize that there is a time and place for each format. One is not necessarily better than the other. I would recommend an e-reader to anyone who loves to read. Make sure you check out some reviews before you buy! http://hudsonmonk.com has some solid honest reviews.
    nicolemar