The survey by Beloit College, a private school in Wisconsin, investigated what techie stuff the Class of 2014 - (18/19 year old kids who are just starting uni now) used and what they didn't. 1,400 pupils were surveyed and a list of 17 things they didn't use was compiled.
The students said they found email too slow.
To any office worker who spends 12 hours a day on the email account, it may seem a bit weird that kids don't like email. Love it or hate it - your inbox is usually your first port of call in the morning and constant companion throughout the day. Arguably, it's not a trend that will push through with this generation they grow up - it could just be that they haven't got jobs yet.
But people have been predicting the death of email for a while. The email-busting Google Wave didn't exactly destroy it. In fact it folded within a year. However, the kids do have a point. Here's what I think will replace email (gradually):
- Instant Chat for conversation
Some of the best chat services are run out of email services - gmail and hotmail messengers. Facebook is the other big one. Let's face it if you want to get something decided, or just bat a few ideas chat is much quicker.
- Private Forums and Groups for Work
Might people start working in virtual offices? - some business already use private places online like Google Groups where you can chat about particular topics without having to send every poor sod on that email list a new email when something occurs to you. Yes - this is what Google Wave tried to do, just a bit simpler.
- Social networks for Socialising
Why send your friend an email when you could just @ reply or facebook them? Email isn't the most sociable of mediums. I guess all those work email give it bad associations..
And on mobile of course with text messages staying strong, Blackberry Messenger and instant chat apps like What's App for sorting out questions quickly.
While an email address is essential for the internet, I think its role in how people communicate is reducing... What do you think?