It's 2014. Are we there yet?

Mike Cardwell gnupg at
Fri Apr 11 21:18:29 CEST 2014

* on the Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 02:47:03PM -0400, Robert J. Hansen wrote:

>> I?ll have to disagree. I think there?s a growing sense of ?uhhh?maybe
>> these email providers are not such a good idea after all?.
> In 2007-8 (the last time I taught undergrad Computer Literacy), over a
> third of my students only used email for university business (like
> submitting papers to me) and talking to their older relatives.  Among
> their own age bracket, most communication was done through Facebook.
> (Today it's more Instagram and Snapchat and the percentage is
> approaching 50%, according to my friends who are still teaching.)

And when those students finish University and get jobs, do they use
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat at work, or do they use Email at work?

The fact that alternative communication methods exist that are more
suitable for certain types of conversations between certain people,
isn't that interesting. Email does not need to be used for even the
majority of online communication in order for it to be successfull.

> But yes, email really is on the way out as a communications medium.  The
> younger generation sees it as an antiquated technology.  I suspect in
> another 20 years it'll be used about as much as Gopher is today.

I don't find, "kids don't use email for casual conversations" to be a very
convincing argument that email is on its way out. In 20 years, Facebook
will be a footnote on wikipedia, but people will still be using Email,
in some form or other.

There will always be a system for pushing messages around electronically
that isn't tied to a single provider. If email is replaced, it will be
by something similar to email. Not by whichever social network the kids
are currently using.

Mike Cardwell
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