[extropy-chat] Email is for the old folk now

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Tue Aug 1 08:55:51 UTC 2006


E-mail losing ground to IM, text messaging
Young people driving switch to instant gratification communication

By Martha Irvine
Updated: 5:32 p.m. ET July 18, 2006

E-mail is so last millennium. Young people see it as a good way to
reach an elder — a parent, teacher or a boss — or to receive an
attached file. But increasingly, the former darling of high-tech
communication is losing favor to instant and text messaging, and to
the chatter generated on blogs and social networking sites such as
Facebook and MySpace.

The shift is starting to creep into workplace communication, too.

Much like home postal boxes have become receptacles for junk mail,
bills and the occasional greeting card, electronic mailboxes have
become cluttered with spam. That makes them a pain to weed through,
and the problem is only expected to worsen as some e-mail providers
allow online marketers to bypass spam filters for a fee.

Beyond that, e-mail has become most associated with school and work.

"It used to be just fun," says Danah Boyd, a doctoral candidate who
studies social media at the University of California, Berkeley. "Now
it's about parents and authority."

It means that many people often don't respond to e-mails unless they have to.

Boyd's own Web page carries this note: "please note that i'm months
behind on e-mail and i may not respond in a timely manner." She, too,
is more easily reached with the "ping" of an instant message.

"And there is a very strong sense that the migration away from e-mail
continues," says Lee Rainie, the director at Pew.



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