Getting ... Very... Tired ... of This
By Ken Magill
Must we discuss this again?
Another report has come out detailing the decline of email usage, particularly among teenagers, spurring another round of articles and posts predicting the death of email.
The following piece of idiocy from Red Herring was a typical example:
“A ComScore report on 2010 digital trends confirms it: Email's future lies with the dinosaurs. With innovative social messaging platforms like Twitter and Facebook, not to mention mobile platforms, Web email is steadily declining, eventually to become as extinct as the brontosaurus and the 8-track cassette.
“While total Web email usage declined by 8 percent in the last year, a more telling sign is its 59 percent decline among users between the ages of 12 to 17. In short, perhaps a day will come that only the dinosaurs of the Internet continue to email each other.”
But let’s consider for a moment the validity of making predictions based on the behavior of teenagers.
I was one in the 70s. If anyone were to make predictions based on our behavior, they’d have said that someday everyone would be smoking weed rolled in joints the size of babies’ arms—oh, and there would be no checking accounts.
Sooner or later, today’s kids will have to operate in the adult world. That means sending resumes to potential employers, getting jobs, sharing documents and presentations, sending proposals to clients and prospects, and sending memos to colleagues, among many other things.
Sure, they could post these documents on their Facebook pages, but then how are they going to let the proper folks know the document is there for them to access? Um, email?
Email may one day disappear, or at least evolve into something we wouldn’t recognize now, but making predictions on its future based on the behavior of 12 to 17 year olds is foolish.
Note: John Rizzi, president and CEO of e-Dialog, posted a thoughtful piece on ComScore’s report you can access here.