P+PB’s First Guest Blog Post — View from an Internship
This summer we had the privilege of hiring our first summer intern, Jack Chellman. A rising sophomore at UVA, we hired Jack because this young millennial, despite his access to and reliance on technology, was fully on board with the concept of our campaign from the minute he participated in focus groups we conducted last summer. Before heading off to school, Jack put this connection to the campaign into words — sharing how he and millennials like him identify with Paper and Packaging — How Life Unfolds ™.
Blog Post: Jack Chellman
Yes, I work for the Paper and Packaging Board. Yes, I’m a millennial. Yes, it’s a bit odd.
My friends and I are college students. We snapchat, video-chat, watch Netflix, check Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Everything. Some might say paper’s irrelevant for us. But what’s interesting, I think, is that my generation’s detachment from reality persists even when we disconnect from the digital world. And it’s this issue that paper’s poised to address.
If my generation’s not on the internet, we’re thinking about the internet. We obsess over the likes and dislikes, posts and reposts and updating that goes on in our absence. Unplugged, our minds are adrift in that terrible variable sea, imagining the internet when we don’t have access to it.
Even if we’re not obsessing over the digital world, we’re certainly not living in the real world. My generation resides in a pseudo-reality of anxieties. We’re trained to be as uncomfortable with the present moment as possible, encouraged to focus our attention instead on the past or future. We wonder what college we’ll attend, what we’ll study, what job we’ll get and how many kids we’ll have. All we want is to move forward, forward, anywhere but here, anytime but now. And if we do spend some time in the present, our priorities are far from “realistic.” Performing well on an SAT isn’t a life or death situation. Except for us. Neither is being captain of the team and president of the school and lead in the play. Except for us. Our overachieving reality is only “real” insofar as it’s something we actually worry about, not because it’s how things should be or actually are.
So here’s where paper comes in. Paper makes things real. In our chaos of alternate realities, paper grounds us. A paper book is really there. A paper card was touched, the envelope addressed and sealed. Real things come in paper boxes. Even writing this blog, my words weren’t real until I put them on paper—printed them out and touched them, understood them.
Paper and packaging is, then, how life unfolds. It’s how we unfold, how we unfurl ourselves from the tight mental spaces in which we’re confined. Millennials spend their lives torn this way, and, by the false realities that command our attention. In the midst of that storm, paper is an anchor. Paper is a reminder. Paper is real and valuable.