Email Is For Old People?

from the get-with-the-program dept

A few years ago, we pointed to a report in Asia, where kids were saying that email was for old people, and they were more focused on things like text messaging. This may have just been foreshadowing a larger trend, highlight by an article in Slate about how, just as older generations have embraced emails, kids have moved on to many different forms of communication from instant messaging to text messaging to private messaging through social networks to broadcast messaging through Twitter and Facebook news feeds. And, while it worries the reporter a bit, he's come to accept it and realize that kids are simply figuring out the best, most efficient way to communicate different messages -- where email as a one-size-fits-all communication system is a bit clunky. That's not to say that email is going away any time soon -- but that it's not nearly as important a communication tool as many "older" people seem to assume it is.

Filed Under: email, generation gap, kids, private messaging, text messaging


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  1. identicon
    Shun, 15 Nov 2007 @ 12:24pm

    It depends

    I consider myself "old" because I use email for most communications. I had IM at my last job, but we pretty much just IM'd each other when there was a problem. "Server5 is down", that sort of thing. Also, we were on the phone a lot. Don't leave out POTS and mobile phones. They play a role, a rather big one, frankly.

    I agree that SMS is replacing IM. Will it replace email? Not until dinosaurs like me die off. FB and MySpace -- great, if you're on them and checking it all the time. Not so great if you're stuck at work.

    There's this work/not divide that has to be addressed: depending on the company, you are not expected to be on FB all day long. So, your FB time is going to be limited to after hours, or all day, if you're unemployed.

    My biggest pet peeve: IM's from unemployed friends. "Can't you see I'm working?" Actually, I am guilty of that, sometimes, as well.

    Lastly, the communications medium which is most comfortable to us is the one we use for our particular purpose. Don't need to know what's happening all the time 24/7? Email. Mission critical data? SMS/IM/Panic Button (you all do have panic buttons, right?) Planning a party -- FB and Myspace.

    I would really like to see all of these converge and open up, so that I would simultaneously receive messages on my phone and IM, and a little tickler in my email. Again, pie-in-the-sky thinking. I guess I should be happy that email was created by geeks who opened the code, or we'd all owe our souls to AOL and CompuServe.

    Oh, and email is not like sending a letter. It's like sending a postcard. If you want confidentiality, use VPN's or PGP. Otherwise "All your trade secret belong to us"

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