FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"E-Mail Has Become the New Snail Mail"

If you're e-mailing instead of IM'ing or text messaging... well, sorry, you're behind the times.  Increasingly, tech savvy people are relying on texting and instant messages rather than e-mail to communicate, citing immediacy and convenience, as well as relief from spam overload.  "In this world of instant gratification, e-mail has become the new snail mail," says 25-year-old Rachel Quizon from Norwalk, Calif.

Even though texting and IM'ing are making their way into the workplace, the obvious generational divide persists.  While young people embrace the new communications media wholeheartedly (they prefer IM over e-mail by a 5-to-1 margin), their older colleagues still prefer e-mail.  "Adults who learn to use IM later have major difficulty talking to more than two people at one time — whereas the teens who grew up on it have no problem talking to a bazillion people at once," says social media expert Danah Boyd. "They understand how to negotiate the interruptions a lot better."

Source:  AP (via MSNBC)