Email Is For Old People, Research Suggests

Dennis Faas's picture

Do you use regularly use email to keep in touch your friends and co-workers? I know I do! Well, according to a new study conducted by Parks Associates, that makes us old folks.

Less than one-fifth of the 13-17 year olds who took the survey use email to communicate with their buddies, whereas 40 percent of adults between 25 and 54 rely on email to contact their friends.

One-third of teens indicate that they contact their pals through instant messaging -- a big jump from adults, who number only 11 percent.

Family, however, is a different story. There's "still a lot of face-to-face communication and phone calls" between family members, claimed John Barrett, the director of research for Parks Associates.

He also feels that teens will eventually grow into email as they enter the real world.

"It's one thing to have this always-on communication when it is people you want to talk to but once you switch to a more professional environment, that delay is nice to have," Barrett stated.

But the Parks director of research doesn't expect teens to entirely abandon instant messaging as they transition into adulthood.

"I suspect you'll see more of a mix as this generation enters the workforce," Barrett indicated. "Email will remain a way to get in touch but they'll also use instant messaging as well."

Multi-tasking was once a foreign buzzword to most computer users. There were even people in the not-too-distant past who believed that doing more than one thing on a PC could "break" it. While we're at least a few years removed from those dark ages of computer illiteracy, it's no surprise that today's youngsters are the kings and queens of multi-tasking.

"I think it is about multitasking," expressed Barrett. "I think the younger generation is just adapting to this environment where they're doing 10 things at once."

And that extends beyond the computer. "Younger kids are more likely to sit there and type on a computer while they're watching TV and talking on the phone," Barrett pointed out. (Source:

"We are seeing a generational shift in communication patterns, and email is now old-fashioned," the Parks director declared. "Teens and young adults are increasingly accustomed to an always-on world where friends and family are instantly accessible." (Source:

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