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
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2007 @ 3:35am

    To be fair, what is a more efficient method for communicating "I AM WATCHING TELEVISION" or "I JUST TOOK A POOP AND IT STANK UP THE BATHROOM" than through something like twitter? It's too frivolous for an email.

    But likewise, am I going to communicate an action plan or discuss something with a customer via AIM or twitter or myspace? Fuck no. IM is for instant communication. Twitter is for pointless, self-involved drivel. Myspace is for idiots who want to consoladate their entire internet experience into a single website (and a single point of failure) just like the good old BBS days, before they were born ---- and email is for people who need to convey important information, delicate information, detailed information or otherwise engage in an actual conversation.

    I use IM constantly in my line of work. I'm a developer and our entire company of 45,000 people globally requires that everyone use our own developed commercial messenger (uses XMPP, much like jabber and is for all intents and purposes -- jabber). Most of my colleagues are not even within driving distance. And even if they were, a lot of us telecommute full time. So IM is absolutely a necessity.

    But for every IM message, there are a few dozen email messages. Whether it's discussions on an internal list or another. Whether it's communicating with customers or field engineers or team discussions and management discussions to touch base or regarding staffing or action plans.

    So yes, young people may just use twitter, IM and myspace today . . . but if they plan to ever have discussions that go beyond what color their crap was and what they're doing at that very instant (OH MY GOD, WE'RE ALL EAGERLY AWAITING YOUR NEXT TWITTER!) and beyond self-involved attention-whoring on myspace or trying to get off with some loser on instant messaging, they'll eventually find themselves forced to gravitate toward email. And if they don't - they'll be shark food for the rest of us in the workforce.

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