Is Email Already Outdated?


Email could soon be a thing of the past, at least if teenagers have anything to say about it.

“Teens 2012: Truth, Trends, and Myths About Teen Online Behavior,” a new study from Pew Internet, found that teenagers communicate with each other in much the same way that adults do, via social media and texting, but one thing is different – they hardly ever pay attention to email.

That information could have huge implications for the future and the way we communicate with one another. Once the teenagers of today grow up and enter the workforce, they might be more likely to send coworkers and superiors messages on Facebook instead of sending traditional emails.

So one of two things will happen, either they will have to adapt and learn how to use email effectively, or their older counterparts will have to learn how to use social media for more professional reasons, and either scenario could leave someone behind.

The report also found that parents are paying attention to the ways their teenage children are communicating, which means more parents are joining Facebook and learning how to text so they can keep better tabs on their kids.

Another surprising finding is that some teenagers still use MySpace – even more than use Twitter. However, it’s obvious that Facebook is still the most popular site for both teenagers and adults alike.

Some other interesting facts uncovered by the report:

  • 67 percent of teenagers are using social media, with 93 percent of those using Facebook.
  • 45 percent of 12-year-olds use social media, while 82 percent of 13-year-olds do so.
  • Only 62 percent of teenagers use available privacy settings on social media sites.
  • 24 percent of teenagers still use MySpace.
  • Roughly 22 percent of girls use Twitter, compared to 10 percent of boys.
  • The number of parents monitoring social media sites has increased from 60 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2011.
  • 39 percent of parents connect with their teenage children on social media.
  • 63 percent of teenagers text everyday.
  • However, only 23 percent of teenagers have a smartphone.
  • Only 6 percent of teenagers check their email on a daily basis and 39 percent never use email.

Given these facts uncovered in the report, it will be interesting to see how our personal and professional communication starts to change as these teenagers grow up and begin to enter the real world.

Email might become outdated after all, and we might all be sending corporate memos through Facebook or text alerts, or there might be an entirely new way of communicating that we aren’t even aware of yet – only time will tell.

  • Image via Microsoft Office

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