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Email on the Decline

The Case Against (and For) Email

Could email be on the outs? According to recent research, it's already declining in use among teens, which could signal a move away from email in favor of social networks like Facebook and shorter messages like texts. In fact, the number of emails sent by adolescents ages 12 to 17 dropped 24 percent in 2010.

I can understand why younger generations prefer different forms of communication; posting to a place like Facebook is a quick way to talk to all of your friends at once. And now that Facebook is ramping up its mobile offerings (including those crazy Facebook phones), it's likely that demographic's use of email will decline before it rises again. That's not all social media may be replacing — recent research has found that teens aren't interested in blogs either, preferring to use sites like Twitter or even Tumblr to keep up with what's happening in their social circles.

But, does this mean that email is going the way of the dodo? Doubtful. Find out why I think so after the jump.

While it's true that many times a younger generation pioneers new technology or a sweeping cultural change, in this case, it's just not practical to count email out — especially in professional situations. While you could argue that the way we communicate will continue to evolve based on new technology and trends — which it will — I think there will always be a use for longer-form communication, both blogs and email included. Email hasn't killed the post office yet, right? I think services like Twitter, texting, and Facebook do more successfully than email is sharing the small nuances of a day or activity that might otherwise get left out of an email. I have no problem tweeting a funny thought that pops into my head; the chances I'll remember it long enough to add it into an email are slim.

I also think it's possible that Facebook's new messaging system will add another dimension to the way we communicate, but find it hard to imagine a world without email as it is now. What do you think?

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