I still use email, some days I get way too much, some days it is manageable. It is the mode of communication I most use when communicating with people. I try not to write extensive novels, summaries or briefs when writing an email but only to get an idea across. I have a rule that when a mail thread goes past 5 responses, if I feel the need to respond, I answer with – “This mail requires a meeting” and leave it at that.
My children, and those of their age do not use email the way I and may of us do.
They use Instagram, Facebook, Texting, iTunes and iMessage (and still probably more now use Snapchat and other social applications). Their greatest use of email when compared to all these applications is signing up for their accounts.
They sign-up for an account on any of these platforms, authenticate themselves, do their few little password tricks and promises and move on never to look at it again. When I ask them to check their mail for something I sent them a week ago they look at me dumbfounded – “Oh I didn’t think to check there” – and why would they it, none of their friends communicate on it, they only use it to sign up for new things so it has become a junking ground for ads and other specials.
Email is the Gateway to Something More
Instead of an Authentication Only technology it’s better to think of email as the Gateway Technology to all these other platforms because you can’t authenticate to them without having an email address to begin with.
In the school systems (at least in Canada), kids are given free mail accounts that are tied to an online suite of Google or Microsoft products that give them access to Document, Spreadsheet and Presentation programs – but again it’s a gateway into using those applications – they are not doing it because you NEED to have an email account, they are doing it because they NEED you to access these tools that enable document collaboration across your groups and teams.
Email is on the same path that the fax machine was many years ago where just recently in the last few years more and more companies have begun to allow the transmission of signed documents via scans through email, whereas before it HAD to be faxed. Not all mind you, but some.
In essence, once someone solves the need for email to be an authentication technology, it’s use among millennials will drop at a significant rate.