Survey says ‘graven images’ OK with religious crowd
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Survey says ‘graven images’ OK with religious crowd

Photographs printed on paper are much more popular among the observant than the secular, a poll by Epson Israel shows

Epson digital photo frame and printer (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Epson digital photo frame and printer (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Among the cultural differences between religious and secular Israelis, add one more. According to a new survey by Epson Israel, the more religiously observant one is, the more likely they will prefer a printed photo to a digital one.

According to the survey, taken on behalf of Epson Israel by the Geocartographia company, level of religiosity is a significant factor in how photos are displayed. Among those who said they were secular, 30.9% preferred to show off their photos in print, as did 34% of those who classified themselves as “traditional,” which in Israel generally means somewhat observant (i.e., synagogue attendance on Shabbat morning and the beach on Shabbat afternoon). For those who said they were religious or ultra-Orthodox, the number jumped to 44%. Sixty-three percent of secular Israelis did not print out their photos at all, but among the observant, that figure dropped to 49.2%. And, the survey shows, only 6.9% of secular Israelis printed out a photo in the past year, compared to 27.3% of observant Israelis.

The survey does not discuss why this is so, but according to Oren Fleisher, CEO of Epson Israel, Israelis in general are more “traditional” when it comes to printing photos in general, because they want to show them off to friends and family, which is easier to do then photos are in print form than when the are stored on a computer or a device.

“The professional quality of the images may explain the widespread use of images printed, because the Israeli public wants to show the beautiful pictures taken with friends and family in a way that shows them best,” said Fleisher.

One possible reason could be the desire to have photos to share with friends and family who visit on Shabbat, when computers, iPads, or digital frames are not used. There’s no substitute, said Fleisher, for a photo album, especially in observant households.

Despite the fact that digital photo storage is less popular among the observant, the digital revolution has still had a major impact. While over 93% of secular Israelis have given up on printed photos altogether, so have 72.7% of religious Israelis. Among the traditional the number was somewhere in the middle, at 86.9%.

The survey shows that there was only one growth area for printed photos – on magnets. Sixty percent of all Israelis said they had not received a photo printed on paper from others during the past year, and 80% said they had not been given a mug, T-shirt, or other item with a printed photo on it. But about 60% did get a magnet with a photo printed on it – most likely at a wedding or other celebration, where magnet photos have come into vogue in recent years, the survey said.

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