More that one study, more that one observer, more than one predictor has noticed that teens as early as 2005 were abandoning email. Chad Lorenz writing in Slate spent some serious time in anecdotage whilst writing his article, The Death of E-Mail
Teenagers are abandoning their Yahoo! and Hotmail accounts. Do the rest of us have to?
back in 2007, but he also cites some of the early Pew studies on teens and email.

Lorenz would be even more pessimistic about email if he could have leapt to the future and read this 2010 report on teens and their communication choices.

Also worth reading and following The Pew Millennials Project. which is ongoing. And fun to take the “How Millennial are You?” quiz.

Teens and communication choices

4 Responses to “The Kids are Right Alright; email is next to useless”
  1. Michael Czeiszperger says:

    So what should a business use to communicate with customers? I’ve got to manage large projects with multiple contacts at multiple companies, send contracts, arrange meetings and schedule tests, send test results, etc.

  2. Paul says:

    Contracts can be shared better via Dropbox or Box.com. Collaborative editing better in things like gDocs. Meetings can be scheduled better with Doodle or shared calendars. In each case, email is the worst choice.

  3. I use Dropbox and gDocs and shared calendars for personal stuff, but can’t figure out how any of them would work for a business. For example, there’s no security in shared calendars that I’ve used, and there’s no way I can let multiple clients know what other clients I’m talking to, or that I’ve blocked out an afternoon to visit a particular medical event. Its just too private, and yet there’s no way on the shared calendars I’ve tried to block info.

    By the same token Dropbox doesn’t have security either, or a very good notification scheme. In fact, the default way of sharing a file on Dropbox is to send an email saying the file is available.

    I’m not saying there isn’t way to not use email, but the alternatives aren’t ready yet for a business context based on what I need to do.

  4. Paul says:

    Google Calendar allows you to just mark meetings as Busy for others very easily.

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