Is Email Dead?

With the rise of social media, many professors are beginning to ask an unanticipated question. Is email dead?

Social networks are the new rival to email.  A survey conducted by Pew Internet & American Life revealed that people are not emailing as much as they used to; instead, those people are saving time and utilizing social networking and text messaging. The number of emails sent by adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old declined 24% in 2010, and overall visits to webmail sites declined by 6%.  The survey discussed how it just is not in teen nature to send an email to those you primarily communicate with on a regular basis- a text message works much easier.

Young people have not developed web etiquette which can ultimately present challenges in the classroom.  Many believe that texting in the classroom is perfectly fine in the case of an emergency while others believe it is the wrong thing to do. Teachers are not quick to disagree with the students. Many feel that texting and understanding various communication channels will increase success in the students’ future. It is important to understand informal language when texting a friend and to also understand formal language when speaking to a teacher.

And while young people prefer text messaging over emailing, email does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Students do actually prefer email for communicating with teachers over any other communication outlet. This might be because an email creates a paper trail which makes it easier for students to keep up with important assignments and deadlines.

Email is still one of the most popular activities on the Internet that over 70% of online Americans participate in each month. And teenagers might like the use of social media because it is cool, but when they grow up they will realize even more the value of email. Just because email is not cool, it will remain useful. While the statistics show a decline of email among teens, those numbers prove to be a bit deceiving; emailing by users of all ages was up 6% in 2010.


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