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Facebook Replace Email?

The other day I received an interesting email from a friend. He was leaving for the Orient and took the time to let me know this would be his last email, and from this point forward all his communications would be on Facebook.

“Incase you are wondering why your email has gone down, it’s because Facebook is how people communicate” he supported that with.

I took the bait, I couldn’t help myself, I had to find out if email usage has gone down.

After hitting up 5 or 6 reliable points of information, it became clear the opposite is true, sources say email has gone up this last year and all indicate by 14 to 15%.

Even with the addition of Facebook, twitter, and so on, people are not just still using email… but using it more.

But how can you add 3 or 4 more communication methods, see them skyrocket in popularity…  and still find the originator, email, to be going up in usage?

Simple really. The advent of the radio did not reduce need for the phone – even though you are able to reach more people with it. In fact, phone usage went up so high that we found ways to make sure we can carry them with us and use them anytime.

Facebook and twitter are not “methods of communication” they are methods of broadcasting information to masses. The status and comments are nothing more than personal broadcasting pitches … our own commercials or “play by plays” of us, and our lives.

Unlike the radio though, facebook has quenched peoples apparent need to share what beer they like, shows they watch, books they read and trips they yearn for. Facebook has for that reason also become a far more powerful method of marketing, because comments, posts and likes are recorded, sorted and sold as targets.

So don’t look to email to die out anytime soon. Company executives are not likely to go to Facebook to schedule meetings (lol), ask for information or reports from subordinates (rofl), or circulate budget meeting notes (omg). And it’s also quite likely these more serious messages are sent by people who don’t want the content recorded and sold to Molsen, Air Canada and NBC.

11 Responses

  1. Frank L
    Frank L September 25, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

    Yeah, sad and true all of it.

  2. Murray
    Murray September 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |

    Most of my friends just carry on about themselves. Not sure why I still check in.

  3. Melissa
    Melissa September 25, 2011 at 5:24 pm |

    Ouch ouch and so damn true. Actually I still use email for “real” communicating.

  4. Douglas
    Douglas September 25, 2011 at 5:25 pm |

    Yep, I had a similar discussion the other day. I said facebook is not much more than a digital bar.. everyone puts on the face they want you to see.

  5. Ben m.
    Ben m. September 25, 2011 at 10:08 pm |

    Your copy is always so well written. I don’t always agree, but I never miss a column because they are so enjoyable. I wish you had time for more!

  6. Gavin
    Gavin September 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm |

    Yah, I too had this conversation recently. (with my teen daughter) I could never use facebook for my business communication, but it’s fun to play with.

  7. Craig
    Craig September 25, 2011 at 10:12 pm |

    Good points. You’ve made many.

  8. Henk
    Henk September 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm |

    We will always need a means of private communication, whatever that means is. Radio broadcasting is not private, nor are newspapers, facebook, or google+. The radio didn’t replace the phone for that exact reason. Neither will facebook replace email for that reason. They have proven their non-private nature over and over again.

  9. Dianne
    Dianne September 27, 2011 at 8:21 am |

    Excellent article.

  10. Harlan
    Harlan September 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm |

    Big follower of your site!

  11. Ziarre
    Ziarre October 31, 2011 at 6:27 am |

    I want to send you an award for most helpful internet writer. This and so many of your columns are not only informative but written with humor and grace.

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