Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 6 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H2'ed 10/12/09

Email's End?

Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rob Kall
Become a Fan
  (305 fans)
Every change in communications medium causes big changes in culture, since cuneiform, then writing were introduced. Email was a culture changer in the 90's. Now, email is being upstaged by social media. The Wall Street Journal reports, in an article, The End of Email?

In August 2009, 276.9 million people used email across the U.S., several European countries, Australia and Brazil, according to Nielsen Co., up 21% from 229.2 million in August 2008. But the number of users on social-networking and other community sites jumped 31% to 301.5 million people.

Things have changed. The net has grown much faster and email, which was born when we logged on with a screeching noise, slow phone line connection and paid by the minute, is now an "old" technology. Try to get your teen or twenty something to check it for your messages and you'll often get a reply-- "text me, or post to my facebook wall." The Journal article likens the change to moving from checking in and out, in the "old days" of the 90's, to being awash in a constant "river" of connection.

You don't need to call your friend to see what he or she is up to because you can just check your Facebook social graph or the latest tweet to see where she is and what she's been up to.

"The young people today don't know how to talk," a 77 year old Jewish mother told me the other day. I corrected her. "Actually, they talk, but primarily using text messaging, instand messaging and facebook, myspace, and if they's a bit older, linkedin postings, with some tweets thrown in.

What the 77 year old perceived as a drop in communication is actually a change. A lot of the over 30 people who started on facebook signed on to stay in touch with their kids at college or to keep up with their kids in high school-- if the kids were willing to friend them.

But that was so 2006. Now, the social media tsunami has flowed much further and for some time, facebook's new sign-ups have been much older than the college students who got it started.

The new media-- facebook, twitter, instant messages, text messages from phones-- are more immediate and can be less intrusive. You don't need to write a summarizing report of your vacation or business trip. You will have posted to facebook or tweeted the trip, step by step.

Then there's spam. Email has become a major annoyance, in terms of the noise level. Spam filters remove 98% of the worst cialis and instant wealth offerings but it is still cluttered with so much chaff. Facebook lets you filter your social graph-- that river of information that comes to you from your "friends" and twitter lets you get VERY selective when you use search tools like tweetdeck to just look at tweets with keywords that interest you.

Email is not going to go away, just as snail mail has not disappeared. But technology is changing the way email plays a role. Younger people are treating email like they do newspapers-- they don't pay much attention. And over 30's need to understand that the means of communication are moving quickly into "the river."

The new, "always on" technologies like cable, fios and satellite web access have been game changers. Muhammad in Peshawar can gmail instant message me and we can have a conversation that isn't slowed down by email's characteristics. I can also keep on writing my article without having to do the more intense phone interaction. (The phone is so dead for many under 30's. They much prefer the less demanding, less attention intensive texting.)

With the social graph and links within tweets on twitter an comments on blog sites, the experience of communication is less time sensitive and more media rich. It's also more random. In a world that has been ratcheting towards shorter and shorter attention spans, with more and more people being characterized as ADD, such randomness is actually more attractive and flexible to the roaming, distracted communication consumer. Maggie Jackson, in her book, Distracted, suggests that this distraction and loss of focus could impend a coming dark age. But it may also portend a growth in connections, in relating using new tools and ways.

The challenge, Jackson told me, in a radio show interview, is to maintain depth of communication and connection. If my 77 year old writes off the changed means of communication as the ending of communication, then there's a problem. If she can learn to re-connect with the new tools-- texting, facebook, she may find that she gets to know more about her kids and the rest of her mishpocha than she ever did before.

Businesses are just beginning to catch on that the future of business is about customer relationships using tools that didn't exist a few years ago. That's why there's a whole new job category out there-- new media/social media specialist.


Well Said 1   Interesting 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Rob Kall Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. 

Check out his platform at

He is the author of The Bottom-up Revolution; Mastering the Emerging World of Connectivity  

He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites,

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

A Conspiracy Conspiracy Theory

Debunking Hillary's Specious Winning the Popular Vote Claim

Terrifying Video: "I Don't Need a Warrant, Ma'am, Under Federal Law"

Hillary's Disingenuous Claim That She's Won 2.5 Million More Votes is Bogus. Here's why

Ray McGovern Discusses Brutal Arrest at Secretary Clinton's Internet Freedom Speech

Cindy Sheehan Bugged in Denver

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: