Is it really the end of the humble email?

30th November 2009

According to many recent news reports, the email will be defunct in 10 years as the growth of social networking sites and instant messaging increases ever rapidly.  But is this really true?  Will people actually stop using emails to communicate in their personal and professional lives?

Personally, I don’t think anyone can answer that question.  Predictions are all well and good, but how can we know what will happen when not long ago people “predicted” that emails wouldn’t even take off at all, and only the ‘computer geeks’ would use this type of communication tool.

It is the younger generations that are forcing these estimations, as they are more likely to adopt faster ways of communicating such as Twitter, Facebook and Instant Messenger (IM) rather than setting up a Hotmail email account.  However, the older generation trust email much more, especially in their professional lives and the tool is so valuable when large files need to be sent from office to office, usually across the world.

I am sure, when emails started to grow in popularity, people assumed it would be the end of postal mail.  Even though the Royal Mail has reported developments in their business due to the rise of email use, it has not meant that people no longer send letters, cards and business information by post.

Personally, I am still a big fan of the electronic mail phenomenon.  I can access my accounts wherever I am, it is easy to use and I can trust it will get to the person I want it to.  But with the increasing spam problems, I understand why the humble email is not seen in the same light as it used to be.

As is always the case with technology, something new comes along to replace the last new thing pretty quickly these days.  I would like to make a prediction myself, in years to come I bet there will be these same news reports about Twitter, Facebook and IM being replaced by the latest communication tool that is even quicker and cooler.  However, I don’t think that will mean that the whole world will stop using any one of them, and that is the same for emails now.

2 Responses to “Is it really the end of the humble email?”

  1. Simon Hamp Says:

    Nice article Claire. I agree with you. Although we have amazing tools that are better suited to certain tasks than email is (think Wikis for example), email is still great for the kind of contact that sits somewhere neatly in between Twitter and Google Wave.

  2. Claire Davis Says:

    Thanks for your comment Simon, I totally agree with your point. Email use has to evolve like any other kind of communication tool, I will have to check out Google Wave as that sounds very interesting!

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