Why don't teenagers have posters in their rooms anymore?

A recent article in the Belgium newspaper, DS Magazine, on Gen Z lifestyle trends, caught our attention.

As a photo reward solution, the team at Stampix was obviously happy to learn about teenagers exchanging the old ‘pop star posters’ for personalised photo walls. The realisation that just a few decades ago we would’ve been more successful printing posters than personal photos, led us to investigate this trend in greater detail.

To set the stage, let’s think back to all the 80’s movies we watched which involved a teenager as the main actor (or if you were one yourself in the 80’s, your own life). How are their rooms? Full of posters, right?

Image source: novocom.top and pinterest.com

From the 40 descriptions of teenagers' rooms we received in the past few days, only 2 of them still have music posters hanging on the wall. One teenager had managed to pick up a poster of Billie Eilish somewhere. Another had printed his own from Nirvana and Rage Against The Machine in a photo shop. I counted 3 rooms with movie posters and 2 with posters referencing a famous TV series. But beside that? Nada..

As described by one of these teenagers “My room has to be cosy”. Lights are more important, and photos of their friends are more unique than images they can just pluck from the Internet, according to the article.

To back it up with some actual data, a large-scale field test performed with 4.023 Stampix consumers, showed that within our younger community, 63% of their personal photos are used as house decoration. Impressive right?

Use of personal photos
House decoration 63%

To understand why posters are no longer sold, the question was asked to the manager of local rap artist called Zwangere Guy. His answer was plain and simple:

“Because there is no need. They [the posters] used to express who we are, but they also served to impress our friends. Teenagers don’t need physical walls anymore to express their identity. They use the walls of social media nowadays, for example on Instagram, Tiktok or Snapchat. They prefer a selfie with the artists after a performance over some random stock photo that someone else took of the performance. Neither I nor my artists, who usually know their audience well, have ever been asked to produce posters again.”

Young people don't want posters or autographs anymore. They want a selfie, for their social media. That's how they show their identity.

The advent of social media brought to teenagers news ways to express themselves and their personality – and their room is part of this transformation. Also, it’s so much easier to take (and print) hundreds of photos with a smartphone in your pocket, compared to the limitations of a camera and the cost associated with it not so long ago.

We make printing fun, fast and free for them, while brands have the opportunity to be present in their best moments (and their photo walls).


Check out Stampix’ photo reward campaigns and become part of their photo wall