There have been multiple articles and statistical reports in recent months and near-term years about the demise of e-mail as a mode of communication. Culprits vary according to the source who, nonetheless, reach the same conclusion about the depreciation of a mode of communication that for practical purposes is less than 25 years old.
Compare that to postal services, which have a history dating back 5,000 years, carrier pigeons which were in service for 1,000 years or telegraph/telex which lasted 150 years and are still in use in parts of the world.
Research and reports have e-mail dying because:
It is just “noise” according to one Facebook cofounder.
There are smarter ways to do the electronic communication thing according to the co-founder of Evernote.
The old, and by now famous, ‘teenagers are shunning e-mail in favour of Social Media and IM’ evidence or, to keep the ‘blame’ on teenagers again this study that shows six percent of teens use e-mail daily.
Finally, there is spam. According to a 2009 Microsoft study 97% of all e-mail is unwanted.
Otherwise, and obviously, e-mail is not conducive to instantaneous communication like IM, collaboration for large groups or invulnerable to forked offshoot conversations.
The aforementioned studies and citations have merit and, whether cause or effect, valid. I would suggest, however, there is another and more profound reason e-mail may be going out of fashion: a lack of an ability to construct a basic sentence. We all suffer from it and it is getting worse.
I am not taking about your run-of-the-mill ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re/you are’ (as in ‘your good to go’ or ‘your the man’) or illogical expressions of time in a sentence (as in ‘Every Monday, they play tennis’ as opposed to the correct ‘They play tennis every Monday.’) either. While these, and many similar sentences, have their order of words backwards the problem extends to nearly every aspect of written communication.
Many English teachers cannot construct a sentence correctly. Couple that with the increasingly multicultural society of ours where individuals’ mother tongues are something other than English and the situation is in fact, when one thinks about it, more dire than imagined.
That is the main reason e-mail is dying. How many times have you personally received an e-mail, looked at it, not been able to decipher it, reread and focused on it and given up? How many times has a colleague or family member asked you to come over only to show you an e-mail, which he or she has trouble making head or tails of (‘of which make heads or tails’) or you have had to begrudgingly pick up the telephone to speak to someone because their e-mail was simply incomprehensible?
Give me a call and let me know what you think.
*Things That Need To Go Away: Language instructors and there spelling and grammar mistakes.