Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

Summary: Steve Clayton, Microsoft extraordinaire and geek in disguise, posted an interesting set of statistics over the weekend, via Socialnomics, on the social media revolution  - the movement where media and information spreads far and wide through social techniques; Twitter and Facebook being the two best examples.Students, or "Generation Y" seem to have taken a shine in these statistics, with the rest relating to social web interaction and other interesting social networking facts.

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Steve Clayton, Microsoft extraordinaire and geek in disguise, posted an interesting set of statistics over the weekend, via Socialnomics, on the social media revolution  - the movement where media and information spreads far and wide through social techniques; Twitter and Facebook being the two best examples.

Students, or "Generation Y" seem to have taken a shine in these statistics, with the rest relating to social web interaction and other interesting social networking facts.

If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s fourth largest between the United States and Indonesia.

That's true but something that has been covered before. However since then it has grown to roughly 270 million users which makes up the entire population of France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Switzerland put together.

2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction.

This baffles me as it doesn't go into detail. "Online students" could be having a face-to-face talk with their lecturer over webcam and Internet telephony. Personally, nothing beats sitting down with your teacher in their office and discussing criminology over a steaming hot cup of tea.

1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum.

E-learning is the way to go,and it really enables the learner to organise their studies better. There's nothing worse than at exam time having a stack of paperwork so high, you need to apply for a licence to enter non-commercial aerospace. Online resources lets you click and choose at your leisure, and print out when you are ready.

Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé. In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen.

This angered me when I read this. Old news, perhaps, but not dishing out email addresses? I can understand that online identities are already established before you reach college - having sexybum2001, or narcoleptic69 gives you a good idea that one you might end up sleeping with and the other will most likely fall asleep (involuntarily) during your class. But a university email gives you that university's identity and at least a little control over security, spam levels and mailing list distributions. You're not just a student at a university, you also represent that university wherever you go.

The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube.

This doesn't surprise me in the least. If you can't find something on YouTube, you can find it on Google. If you can't find it on Google, then it simply doesn't exist. Facebook can be used as a social rule of thumb, but when Google yields no results then it either hasn't been invented yet or you're searching for a banned term in Chinese sovereign territory.

I still find the concept of a global interconnected network of people absolutely terrifying. Don't get me wrong, the idea is exciting, exhilarating and opens the mind to possibilities never thought of before, which some would argue is why YouTube and Twitter became such a hit.

The world we know now has changed beyond recognition from what it was 30 years ago. The technology age that we live in has advanced us into the next generation just like the Industrial Revolution did for our ancestors. Being born into a world where these new developments blend into the background like an annoying cough at the back of a lecture theatre numbs the experience and limits the exo-perspective we gain when looking at it from a distance.

The thought of knowing that something bigger and better will arrive in my lifetime blows me away with over-excitable anticipation, but worries me at how far we have come already in such a short space of time.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration

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22 comments
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  • when they go to work ...

    They will more than likely have to use email. It would be interesting to see how the Gen Y kids that have made it to the work place are coping.
    lynn@...
    • They Won't Have Jobs For Long

      Have you seen some of the crap these kids post on their MySpace and Facebook pages? Some just don't care, but they need to be aware that whatever they post can come back and bite them later on.
      itanalyst2@...
      • RE: Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

        @itanalyst2<br>@lynn<br><br>Yes I do have to use email on a daily basis, but i will admit that i prefer to use Google Talk or Facebook by far. Coping good <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink"><br><br>I do admit when i scroll through my news feed there is alot of crap posted all the time mainly by people younger than me still in school. All my fellow schoolmates who I graduated with tend to have much more relevant and worthwhile (reading) comments and posts. <br><br>But i think the big thing people are missing here is that soon there isn't going to be a single GenY who wont have a smartphone. so you can block it on the work system if you like but it just means that they are going to be more distracted as they pull out their phone to make the same post.<br><br>Some people call it a distraction, i call it an excellent communication tool.
        dunners6
  • Email is outdated?

    "Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man." -- Francis Bacon, <i>Of Studies</i>.

    Sir Pterry [Pratchett] additionally has observed that "Civilization is words."

    Language -- and the exactitude of thought behind one's use of written expression -- is sliding back to the cryptic superficiality of Akkadian cuneiform, suitable for maintaining beer and ration records, not the clear reasoning of Aristotle nor Burke.


    JJB
    JJ Brannon
  • This is the future?

    A bunch of idiots sitting around home tweeting what they're feeling right now?

    High school classmates finding me online to ask what I've been up to?

    My company recently had to send an all hands email telling everyone to get off the internet - everyone was sitting in their cubes watching a stream of Michael Jackson's funeral.

    Where are the high speed trains in every town and city? Where are the robots? Where are the cars that don't need driving?

    We're a bunch of frickin cavemen standing around using blackberries to tweet about what morons we are.
    HollywoodDog
    • Yeah...

      I too think these Facebook / MySpace / Tweet nuts could use a life.
      LBiege
      • At the risk of being facetious...

        What's the difference between tweeting/facebook and sitting around
        commenting on opblogs about how pointless tweeting/facebook is? Just
        asking.
        UsernameRequired
  • RE: Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

    I think the Internet and social networking should be studied a little more and perhaps from a more prosaic point of view.

    I have some of the best conversations in my life face to face with people. Not so much with social networking. Social networking does have a use but as far as a huge trillion dollar value, I don't think so. People were social long before the Internet and will be long after the unsustainable infrastructure has been left to rot.

    The Internet may provide a convenient way to socialize but just like everything else the Internet has ever touched, it has corrupted it. The Internet is an abyss where everyone in it rushes to the bottom. Can I find out what "so and so " is feeling right now on Twitter? Sure, but who really cares?

    I post to ZDnet, does anyone care? Does it really change anything in my life?

    mr1972
  • I find that Twitter is best suited...

    I find that Twitter is best suited for people that have nothing to say that is longer than 140 characters.
    WiredGuy
  • I still like email.

    I still like email.

    The nice thing about email is that it's not a pushy as the other forms of communication. It seems that the other stuff just demands too much attention.

    I like a method where I can just check it once a day and not worry about it the rest of the day.

    "2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction."

    This baffles me as well, as frankly that's just pure nonsense. Are we really so poor at face to face that it's gone below online?

    I think that's frankly telling that we've got our values in the wrong places and that we're killing our real life social skills by pretending to be "social" online too much.

    "1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum."

    That too is far too broad of a statement to mean much. I've seen all kinds of teaching approaches online. From very basic approaches of just using it to post and receive assignments, to full blown community-like online sessions. Could mean pretty much anything.

    "But a university email gives you that university?s identity and at least a little control over security, spam levels and mailing list distributions."

    . . . and frankly, I hate it. They send every tiny little event, no matter how uninterested you are, to everybody. Filtering by mailing list helps a bit, but frankly most of the time they are ignored and simply sent to the global list where you're supposed to get the important stuff.

    . . . and, frankly, Gmail's spam filtering is 100x better than the college system's sorry excuse for a "spam filter," which doesn't even deserve the name. I ended up just forwarding it to my Gmail.

    I'd much rather go with the world-class spam filtering of Google than some spam filtering system at a university which was probably done as a final project by some student with a bright idea that was only effective long enough to get a passing grade.

    Universities aren't really known for having the budgets to afford an effective enterprise-class solution.

    And, frankly, Gmail is more effective than even those.

    "The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube."

    Not surprised, but I don't use it. Waste of time.

    "The world we know now has changed beyond recognition from what it was 30 years ago."

    Yeah, instead of talking constantly on the phone, they're typing constantly on the phone. Forgive me if I'm not seeing that this "change" as really that big.

    It's the same thing in new packaging. Nobody's more productive because of it.

    Is this changing the world?

    Sure, if you count wasting inordinate amounts of time talking about nothing as "productivity" somehow.

    Talking more is not the same as doing more. In fact, talking more usually means doing less.
    CobraA1
    • Face-to-face, like boring or egotistical lecturers

      Online or remote education offers much more opportunity to focus on education in one's own tmeframe without the distractions and other nonsense typically associated with in-person education.
      Patanjali
    • RE: Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

      @CobraA1 <br>Just on your last few comments,<br>Talking on the phone -> Typing on the phone<br><br>A: its portable. you are contactable anywhere anytime by anyone via email, sms, phone etc..etc..<br><br>B: It's a hell of alot more than that. People don't want to talk to people anymore, hence the resort to texting a way of communicating without having to talk. <br><br>Plus did you ever thing that alot of that typing is on social media? And internet? Posting anything and everything that your doing, where you've been, the photos you took, your contact details, location.<br>You tell me where 30years ago you could have collected all that information from someone without asking them in 5min or less? Then having access to a world of information just by clicking (on your portable smartphone) once.<br><br>The world (i think) has changed alot in 30 years...
      dunners6
  • RE: Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

    I am an IT student and I still prefer email above Facebook.
    Facebook is more or less a pressured thing, you are supposed to post messages and photos on it, while email is more direct and you are certainly not pressured by anyone to check/send an email.

    About the spam, I am also forwarding all my mails from my university emailaddress to GMail. The spam filter of GMail is just awesome and GMail is just easy to use.
    jeroenwar
    • Inbox full of email not pressure?

      Obviously never had an inbox full of emails requiring attention.

      Emails from people expecting your attention without any regard to your legitimate priorities.

      Peple DO feel pressured by emails in work situations.
      Patanjali
  • RE: Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

    attention spans getting shorter, naturally new media in the
    forms of twitter or facebook sticks. but email allows for more
    content and is of more formal representation. not the
    same and not substitutes for each other. - twitter.com/taysharon
    taysharon
    • I agree with that

      I can only deal with "to the point" text messages. Texts which say, "hi, how are you?" I can't stand because it doesn't tell me anything.

      Even comments on here - I never bother reading the big ones. The short "Twitter" sized ones get more readers reading it.

      It's not so much the lack of attention span, it's just the fact I'm so damned busy.
      zwhittaker
  • RE: Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

    "2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction."

    At first glance, it seems to suggest that online learning gets better results than more traditional face to face instruction. But remember that this is based on statistics. I believe there's an incorrect assumption being made that students involved in both methods have equal potential.

    First of all, not all students are of the same generation. Some students from older generations may not be as familiar with current technologies. Thus they will likely gravitate toward more traditional learning methods. Very capable people who are intelligent, confident, learn easily, or just more familiar with current technologies, would likely be more willing to meet the challenges of online learning.

    Thus, it may be just that the more capable students (on average) are more willing to utilize online learning, not that online learning iteself is a more effective method.

    As for email... when you work in an office environment, there's nothing like having everything in writing. If someone asks you do to something in email, it's much harder for them to deny so later on.
    Leif_G
  • RE: Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

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    Joe1DISH
  • Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated

    I think the Internet and social networking should be studied a little more and perhaps from a more prosaic point of view.
    panda88
  • Generation Y: 'Email is unfashionable and outdated'

    The nice thing about email is that it's not a pushy as the other forms of communication. It seems that the other stuff just demands too much attention.
    panda88