So, it turns out that the youth of today no longer use email, preferring the IM and chat. Oh, wait; maybe that was the youth of five years ago. At any rate:
e-mail is looking obsolete. According to a 2005 Pew study, almost half of Web-using teenagers prefer to chat with friends via instant messaging rather than e-mail. Last year, comScore reported that teen e-mail use was down 8 percent, compared with a 6 percent increase in e-mailing for users of all ages. As mobile phones and sites like Twitter and Facebook have become more popular, those old Yahoo! and Hotmail accounts increasingly lie dormant.
However, there is some hope for email yet. Apparently Yahoo and Google are attempting to reanimate email’s rotting corpse as the backbone of their respective social networking strategies. Clearly, people still get worked up about email, but it is possible that, over time, email will morph into a primarily business communication tool, as the most formal—or, perhaps, the oldest and therefore least scary—of online communication methods.