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Ditching Apps for IRL: Gen Z's Obsession with Analog Experiences

Updated: Aug 19, 2022

Why are teens and 25-year-olds clamoring for vinyl, SLR cameras, books and all things analog? The answer is in the experience. Born in a fully digital age, Gen Z was raised to expect instant gratification and constant access to media, right at their fingertips by way of their smartphones and apps. So why are our youngest consumers all about analog? We'll answer that by looking at the experiences that vinyl records, SLR cameras, books and magazine provide. But first, let's start with online search and consumer data to showcase the shift. Searches on Etsy for vintage SLR film cameras were up more than 75 percent since last year, and late June's Record Store Day marked the *second* time this year that vinyl album sales rose above 1 million per week—the largest boom for the format in 35 years. (1987 was the year U2 released Joshua Tree and Guns N Roses released Appetite for Destruction, just sayin'.) Okay, so we've established that this is more than just a passing fascination. Let's go back to our take on the experience. Simply put, it's tactile and fun. Holding a photograph; brushing your hand across an album cover and placing a 12-inch on the turntable; flipping through a magazine slowly while reading a coffee on a Sunday. Then there's the specialness, the sense of owning or at least borrowing a little of the magic created by the art form. But beyond entertainment, these records, magazines, photographs and books serve as social tools—building blocks of connection and conversation.


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