interesting article here on how, for teenagers and young 20-somethings, email is a dinosaur. well, an occasionally necessary dinosaur — for when they need to communicate with dinosaurs. texting, primarily, as well as social-networking sites like myspace and facebook, have shoved email off the map.
”Everyone sends e-mails because you have to e-mail your instructors, you have to e-mail your grandma, that’s the way the world works,” he said. But, he added, ”it’s sort of an old fogey way of communicating.”
the article, i believe, wrongly identifies the “hipness” of texting and social-networking sites as the reason. it’s not the sexiness of those things, it’s the immediacy of those things. email still has a “wait for a response” factor. texting is now. whenever, wherever.
i noticed this a few years ago in england, when texting was already extremely normal and popular there, but still gaining a head of steam in the u.s. i asked a few teenagers and youth workers about it, and they all told me that texting was the only way kids communicated (well, and actual phone calls, of course). and their reasons were clear: email is too slow. and it (email) doesn’t really fit the culture of immediacy, since it requires sitting at a computer that’s hooked up to the internet (unless the user has an email-enabled phone, which are normally too expensive for teenagers).
here’s what i found the most interesting about this, from a youth worker’s perspective: no one predicted this. really. i NEVER once heard a youth expert say that email was going to live as short a lifespan as it did with teenagers. we youth experts were still caught up in pontificating about chat rooms (ha! what happened to those!), and dreaming of ministry apps for that now-archaic connecting place. this is a great reminder to me that we (that i) do not know what’s next; that i do not know if the stream of youth culture will cut left or cut right. all i can really predict, in some ways, is that youth culture will continue to surprise us.
related: teen texting champ wins $25,000 for texting “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” in 15 seconds. she estimates she sends 8000 text messages per month.
(ht to ypulse/anastasia)