Death of Email Meme: Do the Kids Get Email?

The death of email hypothesis goes something like this:

  • Younger generations use other methods to communicate than email.  They text to communicate. They IM to communicate. They use social networks to communicate.  The only time they use email is to talk to old folks.
  • When the younger generations make it into the workforce, email will be supplanted by other media.

I love the data that the Pew Center for Internet research produces (good AND free).  Recently they released their “Generations Online in 2009” study about how different age groups use the internet.  So what can we glean from the study?

Major findings:

  1. Teens and Generation Y find entertainment and social networks online
  2. Older generations use the internet as a tool for research, shopping and banking

So that’s not too surprising, right?  When you’re young you have more of a social life (or at least that’s true for me).  More free time = more time spent on entertainment.

As you get older, your life can get more complex and time is more scarce.  You use the tools you have to provide as much of that glorious free time you remember from when you were younger.

So what about email?

I think this chart says it best.  Email and search are the core activities of every online segment.  I would say that email’s days are not yet numbered.

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