A meme about the death of email is circulating in the blogosphere. It's a dead end. We have multiple messaging modalities--SMS, instant messaging, chats of all kinds, Twitter, blogs, RSS notifications, Facebook mail, Web email, rich client email, plain old telephone, group conferencing, sign language, emoticons, etc. If you break down messaging into components, there is a directory of people; content in multiple media; an application such as an IM client; a protocol, such as SMS; and a transport mechanism, the Internet.
Email isn't going away any time soon. Generation X, Y, Z may be more prone to IM, status updates and SMS, but that doesn't mean that email is dying a quick death. Messaging is in a continual state of morphing as the technology evolves and users find new ways to apply it to their personal and professional lives.
As Chad Lorenz concludes in his commentary on Slate, titled "The death of e-mail":
You can now send and receive every kind of message—texts, IMs, e-mails, and Facebook posts—with most new mobile phones. It's not hard to imagine a future communications command center where, on a single screen, you'll be able to choose between sending an e-mail, instant message, status note, or blog post—or sending all of them at once—and then have all those bits of text neatly and securely archived. Once that happens, nostalgic e-mailers like me won't have to feel like dinosaurs.