Speaking of email, how absolutely idiotic to pronounce the death of email because today’s teens aren’t using their email accounts.
Today’s teens are also wearing their pants around their ankles–does this mean, then, that civilization will eventually lose its waist? I’m sorry, dear people, but frankly I’d rather not see most of your underwear clad butts.
We seem to be desperate to be the first to ‘spot trends’ that we take an audience that is known to have certain behavioral characteristics, and extrapolate what this means into the future. This is silly, as history shows us that teen behavior does not a forecast for the future make.
For instance, from my own youth, extrapolating our behavior into the future, one would assume the phone would be dead by now, because we spent all of our time in each other’s ‘pads’: smoking weed, dropping acid, and painting flowers on our bell bottoms, as we contemplated revolution and free love with equal passion. The phone was The Man.
From what I can see of drivers wherever I go, not only is the telephone not dead, it’s used more now than at any time in the past.
Focusing on what teens want has already ruined television. You can’t watch a show now without some blurb showing up obscuring half the screen with instructions about how the person watching can make the experience more ‘interactive’. Why add these to shows? Because marketing has deemed that today’s youth insist on such a barrage of noise in order to grasp and hold their attention.
Now, we’re ready to hold requiem on email, and other longer, thoughtful communications, because kids have the attention span of gnats. Welcome to the brave new world. Oh, excuse me: BRV NW WRLD. LOL.
An anonymous response in another weblog to the “email is for old people” pronouncement:
To be fair, what is a more efficient method for communicating “I AM WATCHING TELEVISION” or “I JUST TOOK A POOP AND IT STANK UP THE BATHROOM” than through something like twitter? It’s too frivolous for an email.
But likewise, am I going to communicate an action plan or discuss something with a customer via AIM or twitter or myspace? Fuck no. IM is for instant communication. Twitter is for pointless, self-involved drivel. Myspace is for idiots who want to consoladate their entire internet experience into a single website (and a single point of failure) just like the good old BBS days, before they were born —- and email is for people who need to convey important information, delicate information, detailed information or otherwise engage in an actual conversation.
I use IM constantly in my line of work. I’m a developer and our entire company of 45,000 people globally requires that everyone use our own developed commercial messenger (uses XMPP, much like jabber and is for all intents and purposes — jabber). Most of my colleagues are not even within driving distance. And even if they were, a lot of us telecommute full time. So IM is absolutely a necessity.
But for every IM message, there are a few dozen email messages. Whether it’s discussions on an internal list or another. Whether it’s communicating with customers or field engineers or team discussions and management discussions to touch base or regarding staffing or action plans.
So yes, young people may just use twitter, IM and myspace today . . . but if they plan to ever have discussions that go beyond what color their crap was and what they’re doing at that very instant (OH MY GOD, WE’RE ALL EAGERLY AWAITING YOUR NEXT TWITTER!) and beyond self-involved attention-whoring on myspace or trying to get off with some loser on instant messaging, they’ll eventually find themselves forced to gravitate toward email. And if they don’t – they’ll be shark food for the rest of us in the workforce.