July 25, 2024

Stop Asking Millennials to Print!

Once in a while, a twitter post will blow up and strike up an unexpected chord. Recently, Scott Irlbacher, a resident of Pittsburgh, PA shared his thoughts regarding computer printers. Within a few hours, his post has over a quarter of a million likes and thousands of comments.

“Quit sending millennials things to print at home,” wrote Irlbacher. “We don’t have a printer. [We’ve] been surviving on secretly using our work printers for years.”

Thousands of comments made a good demonstration of how printers, according to millennials, are no longer seen as a necessary evil as many of these folks are baffled by their existence, while others celebrate the fading away of the archaic device. Some people believe that anything they need to print can be emailed to a local printer. They have it ready when they get there and it is most of the time, cheaper than a home printer.

Additionally, there was more evidence of a generational divide with the shift towards digital, driven by the habits of a younger generation, and accelerated recently because of the effects of Covid-19.  The number of pages printed worldwide fell by more than thirteen percent, to save what would be the equivalent of seven football fields worth of paper every minute of every day!

Many items that were printed for the sake of convenience now have the capabilities to be shared electronically and because of factors like this, global printer sales have been declining for years. The omnipresence of tablets, cloud storage and smartphones is directly influencing these changes. Filing cabinets full of documents are relics, while tickets and passes are now migrated to digital wallets and most notably e-signatures is bringing an end to the annoying task of printing, signing, scanning and sending them back. Hallelujah!

So, if they are not printing, what are the millennials doing differently than the other generations?

Things millennials do

(and don’t do anymore!)

  1. Humor

This group of folks came up with the ugly Christmas sweater party, and they think old technology is hilarious. (typewriters, payphones, and beepers)

2. Transportation choices

Even though all the generations seem to utilize the growing ridesharing platforms, for Gen Xers and Baby Boomers it is more of a supplemental service where the Millennials are actually foregoing the ownership of a vehicle entirely and relying on a combination of lyft, uber, public transportation and bike sharing in stead.

3. Roommates

Increased cost of living and tuition costs, it is partly a cultural choice as well as a means of survival for many millennials. Smartphones, social media, technological proficiencies in the sharing of resources and deals make having a roommate a beneficial endeavor economically.

4. Food

This generation is most certainly more adventurous than the previous gens before them and they sure to “love themselves some food trucks”.

5. Communication

Millennial-centric real-time chat platforms like Snapchat perceive other communication methods to be almost like snail mail. Also social media and text etiquette is slightly different compared to other’s styles.

6. Experiences vs. Material Things

It is not so uncommon to witness a millennial drop more than five hundred dollars on a concert ticket or a new type of experience as they more often than not, will value the thrill and the “#Instagrammableness” of an event much higher than an expensive physical purchase.

7. Education / Career Choices

A larger percentage of millennials vs other gens have gone into the computer engineering and IT fields with the most significant difference being in terms of culture,  and disdain for office politics and the confined cubicle life.

8. Postal Mail and Receiving Packages

With the advent of digital mail, Anytime Mailbox has pioneered this revolutionary, time saving platform. The millennials are adopting this platform as the convenience of checking and managing your mail from a browser or smartphone app is second nature to them.

9. Urban Living

This generational group truly appreciates urban living and loft architecture. Starving artists and the eccentric used to make up the majority of people living in old warehouses converted into livable units, with pipes, exposed bricks and remnants of a manufacturing capacity. With the proximity to good eats and entertainment, downtown living in major metro areas has become a favorite of many among Millennials.

10. Shopping

This group does almost everything online. However, they also dig pop up stores and events. The #instagrammable experience and potential scarcity of the goods that may be for sale at any given moment makes for a culturally attractive shopping experience.

11. Style

The Millenials aka the “hipster generation” is rooted in counter culture against materialism, chain restaurants, strip malls and the soullessness of corporatism. Thank God!

12. Music Preferences

Their appreciation covers a large variety of musical genres, from old school hip hop to classic rock, Eighties music and heavy metal, millennials have had the opportunity to enjoy and take advantage of listening to all the genres because of digital platforms like YouTube, Spotify and Pandora.

13. Movies Taste

Quirky romantic comedies or “trippy” conceptual movies seem to be popular as well as regular comedies. Documentaries are also wildly popular with this group.

14. Working Out and Fitness

There is definitely a trend away from pumping iron for bulk and more towards definition, aerobic, outdoor, and stretching activities.  They explore interests in activities such as rock climbing, yoga and unicycle riding.

15. Meetings

The digitization of everything and high-speed internet connections are disrupting how every generation conducts meetings, whether business or personal. Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts are some of the most popular platforms. Although “flash mobs” have been adopted by millennials and is mostly all their own. A flash mob is when a group of people organize online, swarm physically at the same time on a pre chosen physical destination and then disperse quickly. Some of these bizarre formations are viewable on YouTube.

16. Travel

Millennials are more likely to visit obscure places and unusually cool natural formations in lieu of an extravagant trip to Rome or Paris. It is also easier for them to network and couch surf culturally so finding a place to stay around the world is easier for them.

17. Sports

More and more adventure sports and individual athletic activities are replacing team sports to some degree with the newer generation. It began slightly before the millennials with the X-games and the resurgence of skateboarding.

18. Sayings and Lingo

“Doing it for the gram”. Apparently that means partaking in an activity or even a purchase just so you could produce a popular Instagram pic or pics. “Epic!”

19. Time

All generations would be wise to pay attention to the now, remember the past and plan for the future. Some attention should be given to all three of these states, although most philosophers and successful people would say to live in the now and be present-minded. Millennials are very good at this.

20. Dating

Tinder has taken the millennial world by storm. The power of now has a new meaning with the advent of that app. From love letters, to newspaper classifieds to online dating, it was thousands of years before connecting over a server and html took place.

21. Authenticity

Despite all the styles and phrases and things that other generations may poke fun at, one of the the best traits defining much of the millennial generation is the rebellion against being fake and disingenuous. From brand slogans and perception to style of dress, if someone is perceived as disingenuous, pretentious or cheesy, they will be lambested.

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