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October 14th, 2009
09:36 AM ET

End of the Email Era?

The Wall Street Journal says it is the "The End of the Email Era" and that social networking sites are taking over the way we communicate.

Do you think the email reign is over? Let us know what you think.

Filed under: Heidi Collins • Josh Levs
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Julius Williams

    no i dont really think the Email era. becuase with social networking you cant Send photos and music off to friends and stuff. so i think Emailing is going to Survive for years maybe decades to come.

    October 14, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  2. WSB-Bethesda, MD

    The End of Email? Nope, not hardly.

    Look, typed letters lack the craftsmanship of handwritten communications. Email lacks the formality of typed communication. Social networking is the equivalent of sky writing with an airplane or putting a "Sally Will You Marry Me?" sign on the back of a bi-plane and flying over old Municipal Stadium during the Browns v. Steelers game.

    No way does social networking replace email! Besides, what court is going to accept a "Tweet" as evidence of a legally binding intent to enter into a contract?

    October 14, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  3. michael armstrong sr.

    I would like to see the end of the spam mail era .

    October 14, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  4. Don

    E-Mail still have a lot of options available, Attachments,etc.
    Snail & E-Mail still have a reasonable amount of PRIVACY, Snail mail still being the Most Private.

    October 14, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  5. Doug

    I could not see any time soon of email getting phased out. Email is a different animal and will always have its place especially in the business world where the need for sending lots of documents.

    October 14, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  6. Daniel

    I think it's a ridiculous statement. Of course the communication industry is being revolutionized with the advent of social networking sites, but that's not in lieu of email. Email is not supposed to be sexy or live. It's supposed to be a method for send and receiving data, not posting data. I use email daily for business *and* personal use. The majority of the information or data sent is private or confidential; thus, a social form of communication would almost never be a viable substitute.

    October 14, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  7. Brittney Lindsley

    I am 20 years old and I use my e-mail more than I use facebook. I can not write professional e-mails through facebook and when I do graduate college I plan to delete my facebook because employers can find out to much about you that way. Also with troops overseas and one soon to be my husband we will have to communicate through email because they are not allowed to use facebook overseas.

    October 14, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  8. Daniel

    ...I get all of my social networking site updates via email.

    October 14, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  9. Alison

    For social interaction email may be declining. But you can't handle most business and professional applications via Facebook or Twitter. Attachments are essential for reviewing draft contracts, minutes of meetings, etc. Email will be here for many years to come.

    October 14, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  10. larry

    Not as long as there are Blackberry's

    October 14, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  11. Katie Jones

    I think it’s a very vague statement. Communication in this day and age wouldn’t be communication without internet or e-mail. Everyone’s life revolves around e-mail which is the method of sending and receiving mail electronically. E-mailing is basically made up of social networking sites in cyberspace. Emailing wasn’t created for fun nor to be redundant.. Emailing is suppose to be a method for send and receiving data, not posting data. I use the emailing system only if I have homework or is required for work and daily for business use. I don’t use the emailing system for my own personal use. People fail to understand that everything you post on an email is public meaning everyone can see and read what’s suppose to be confidential. Emailing has been converted into a system of chatting and just another way to communicate like texting. In order to prevent problems in emailing we should use it properly. The emailing system will be around for many years to come.

    October 14, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  12. Josh Wehe

    Email is becoming less and less useful. Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace all reinvented the way we communicate. They all have more capability than email, such as photo uploading and video storage. Google Wave, which is the beginning of the end of email, communicates in real time. Email is on its way out because real time communication is on its way in.

    October 14, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  13. David

    Do people meet or communicate in person anymore?

    October 14, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  14. Billy McCarty

    I keep hearing that Rush has a "right" to own a team. As I understand it, no one has a "right" to own a team. The owners are a "club" and can refuse anyone for any reason.

    October 14, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  15. Kevin Leo (Riverdale, GA)

    Didn't they try to write off snail mail a few years ago, saying that no one would be using that anymore?! E-mail has become a permanent fixture and is not going anywhere soon!

    October 14, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  16. Robert Lake,MI

    Good, I work for the USPS and email and free internet has killed the Post Office! Congress was to start taxing the internet and start charging credit card companies for their free payment service but has yet to happen! I wouldn`t trust anything important to the internet! You are a fool if you use online banking and to pay your bills as well! When your bank account gets broken and thieves rob you blind, dont cry to no one, blame yourself for thinking you could get something for nothing!

    October 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  17. Robert Lake,MI

    Rush Limbaugh should have the right to own a team if he wants too and further more he was exactly right about what he said about Donavon McNabb, he is overrated and the NFL can say anything they want too but yes they were looking for the great black hope to prove black guys can be quarterback in the NFL! Funny how nobody(whit that is) complains about the fact that in general black guys make better running backs and its not even thought about twice as being a racist statement! White guys have an easier time admitting they arent as good as blacks in some sports but when its on the other foot every liberal is crying foul! Least we forget Doug Williams won a Super Bowl and accomplished nothing else! Michael Vick sure can run the ball but he blows when it comes to throwing the ball and thats a fact too! Lets stop feeling sorry for evry minority as if the worlds against them and start treating everyone the same! I did 4 years in the Navy and got called a cracker on a daily basis in front of command at time and not once was an issue brought up that that was wrong and racist, whats fair about that? Nor did I spend my time crying because some black guy called me a cracker! I considered the source and let it go, I feel more of that needs to start happening!

    October 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  18. Edwin

    W ell, I just wanted to say that Heidi Collins is the most beautiful anchor on CNN and I think the "Email era" will last a long long time.Because I'm from Colombia and in my country we use the computer to communicate much.Finally, I like the way you present news, you look sexy...

    October 14, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  19. joshuaw06

    I think that the email era still has to exist. It's needed for a lot of reasons today. Social networking merely has influenced a decline in the email need, however both are still sharing to this era. It'll continue.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  20. A.L.

    I don't believe that it's the end of the email era. How else are businesses going to make deals, contact vendors, communicate with other countries/states? Through 160 characters on Twitter? I don't think so.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  21. Allie

    It' so sad that the this generation communicates in text and internet initials. In one way it helps people stay in touch who would rarely speak but it does take away from "real" life. No one lifts their head up walking down the street to notice the flesh and blood people around them. They even talk through their iphones when in the same room! Email has just become too slow in the age of instant gratification!

    October 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  22. Coach B

    I guess none of you have heard/seen Google Wave yet. Those of you that think e-mail will survive are the same ones that thought we wouldn't use email as a way to communicate to begin with. Open your eyes or get passed by like you almost did before. Web 2.0 is here and it is grasping our students who will force interactive collaboration down your throats...just like we/I did with email.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  23. Colin Dean

    Email will be dead when someone figures out something better. That something will have to be just as open, just as easy to use, and just as versatile. There are several competitors, but nothing known will EVER come close.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  24. Justin Brock

    While I think that the e-mail really has replaced "snail mail", I dont think that the e-mail itself will be cut off because believe it or not, not everyone will be on social networks, and you get all your updates to your networks via e-mail.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  25. Richard Gonzalez

    The end of email? Are you serious? Email is more useful than social networking sites will ever be. Between school, work, and my own ventures, email is the only way to go. Unless we get to the point of "Matrix" style communication where we plug into a network through the back of our heads, email will be with us for years and years to come.

    Follow me on Twitter!

    October 14, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  26. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    We are consumers of devices that can be faster and effective. Email has had a good run as king of communications but its reign is over. Technology has out mastered the service. The need to communicate faster is the key and technology has made it available to all. Emailed has being darkened by the industry. That is the price to control the medium.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  27. Amanda

    As a social media journalist, this is a concept that has recently came up; one that I personally am statistically studying in my field work. In my personal opinion I predict a drastic decrease in electric mail, with the introduction to social media, however social media will never replace e-mail 100%. We are currently seeing that decrease, currently; as social media allows for the public and private establishment of interpersonal communications. Currently I am a member of 130+ social networks, for my current work, each network offers something different. For example FriendFeed offers the establishment of communication while Twitter offers each user a micro-blog of short one sided conversation; Twitter and social media have allowed users to become his/her own unique media.

    If you remember back to the start of the e-mail era, electronic mail was supposed to replace snail mail (USPS), while there was a drastic decrease, it didn't replace this type of mail. We are currently seeing, with the economic situation snail mail making cuts; in some areas mail four to five days instead of six. These cuts were forced by the drastic cuts electronic mail had and the current economic situation.

    While social media allows for the share of text, photos, video, audio, and much more; there are some people in which social media doesn't appeal to by generation standards. Generation standings are the reason snail mail wasn't replaced by electronic mail; plus both give a more personalized message while social media gives an on the go message.

    It's going to be quite interesting to see how this is going to play out.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  28. Reinaldo

    Hello. from Caracas, venezuela. The email is for business the rest is social.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  29. Fauve

    I think the email era will continue, Social media is taking over, but that isn't considered a very professional way to communicate. I'm a student, and teachers still use e-mail, my workplace uses e-mail, but none of my friends do. Social media is social. Email is professional.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  30. Pete

    Utterly ridiculous statement by the Wall Street Journal. Social networking sites are "the in thing" right now, but they have a lot of cons to go with the pros.

    Email is a very useful tool, without all of the distracting, confusing, and "fluff" features of social networking sites. Email is fast, easy, and direct...and without a lot of the privacy risks/concerns of social networking. There are a lot of people who avoid such sites for both privacy reasons, and so that they don't fritter away their time being social e-butterflies. Email isn't going away anytime soon.

    October 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  31. brianna

    Im 22 yrs old and you need your email for EVERYTHING so how could it dissappear? You need a email address just to get on all the social networking sites and sides that I love checking my email I would doubt its the end of emailing..and I kno all my friends and cousens agree who are all either my age a lil older or younger so ..thats just my oppion I might be wrong you never know I guess ..but I HIGHLY doubt it?..but if it is over than well I guess im wrong but ill still keep using mine no matter what those annoying new casters say ;).

    October 14, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  32. Jai

    Email is definitely evergreen medium of communication. Yes, If you talk about latest trends then definitely social networking sites are good at, but Email are a Necessity rather than a entertaining medium.

    Email will remain forever...

    October 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  33. chdiamond

    I really don't think email will disappear. We are a society of secrets. We snail mailed when we wanted something kept private. We email because it is SUPPOSE to be private. Blogging is not private...EVERYONE can see the blogs...the pictures...the stories.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  34. Crystal Lovelady, TX

    Even my Grandmother and Great Grandmother have facebook accounts now (age 82 and 60). Families and friends may replace personal e-mails with inbox messages on social networking sites, comments, or quick tags as a touch-and-go hello. People no longer have to e-mail discs or attach large photos and videos, since they can easily create photo albums now online, and people can save and print them as they please. Although social networking sites have greatly altered our every day communication, work places, banking and college institutions will still utilize e-mail more often. E-Mail is safe – it's the human attention span that is in decline.

    October 14, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  35. Lynda Johnson

    Yes, i is way over. I cannot go back to it, it takes so long to choose everyone to send to...

    October 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  36. Nodd

    Email is the same as social networking. Its a tool for sending text & data to someone else. The only difference between email & social networking is the interface.

    The word "email" maybe going away however. I can see it being replaced by "texting" or "Instant Message" or "Facebook message" or "tweet" or whatever's next, but in essence, its still all just email or sorts.

    October 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  37. Almena King

    I am an educator who created a method that teaches Speed Typing. In less than one hour, anyone can learn all 26 letters of the alphabet on the computer keyboard and be able to type.

    I hope email will continue to be an excellent source of communication.

    October 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  38. Sidney Lariar

    I beleive that the email era has not ended, but evolved. Social networking still holds email-like characteristics. Once Goole Wave hits it's full launch, email will have reached a whole new level

    October 14, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  39. David

    I read the WSJ article. Email is sort of the basis for the social networking sites as some commenters have noted in their posts so I think it's here to stay. I've yet to post a message on Facebook. Something about email is more serious maybe it's less anonymous. Having said that the possibilities for connections via these networks or email are important, they give people a chance to participate share thoughts, get things off their chests. It's important though to keep to the point and not get sidetracked in all of this.

    October 14, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  40. Jeff

    I use Faceboook, SMS, e-mail, snail-mail, cell phone, heck even POTS. I use them all. Each has its purpose. E-mail is not going away - can't log into Facebook without it (or leave comments here).

    October 14, 2009 at 8:41 pm |
  41. Shyju

    I dont think so !
    U cant have everyone on these networking sites.
    And apart from that its a bit too difficult 2 send large files thru these sites.
    E mail enables privacy.

    October 14, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  42. Connie

    I use both (email & Facebook). Not everyone you know has a networking account (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc).

    October 15, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  43. Jim

    It depends on one's point of view. E-mail served everyone well when it first came out, and whilet it may be true there are now more social networkers, I agree with Heidi. E-mail is still king – for working professionals. I teach at a university. I am not about to tweet my dean, nor can I send a manuscript to a colleague in another state via facebook. Social networking is for the masses.

    October 15, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  44. Ames

    Heidi Collins was absolutely right...unequivocally. There will always be a place for e-mail.

    October 15, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  45. Ken Jordan

    This sounds like a replay of the old argument that TV would replace radio. Radio is still here, and email will remain with us as well, because it is very useful in different ways than social networking sites (just like radio vs TV).

    October 15, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  46. david

    This is an apples and bananas issue. The WSJ is looking at webmail (e.g., MSN and Windows Live and Yahoo) and social websites (such as Facebook.) What the article has no way of measuring are the many people who use 'real' email, using mail servers such as provided by virtually all ISPs and most businesses and many private email providers. These users typically use email clients such as Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook and many others. I won't argue that webmail may be shifting to social network sites, but that is not the email most of us use.

    October 15, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  47. Kathryn A Upton

    I am a Senior and use Email. I tried Facebook and hated it : too noisy with too much crap stuff even tho I found family and friends using it. I do not like all the stupid little things that everyone throws at you as some stupid game playing?? Facebook is not for me. I haven't tried twitter yet and am sort of intimidated.

    October 15, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  48. derrick

    Facebook? Whats that? Kidding... I know what Facebook is but I am proud to say I have never ever visited and refuse all requests from friends who have it. I usually call them after the invite, chat about it, play catch up and then ask... 'wasn't this more fun?'

    October 15, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  49. Karen

    Facebook participation numbers are deceptive. Some of us are only on Facebook because a friend wanted us to be their friend thereon. Email makes communication easy, quick and relatively private. It works very well to keep in touch with busy people, especially in different time zones. Email may not have the old-fashioned appeal of a handwritten note which arrives in your mail box, but it is keeping communication at a higher level among people who just wouldn't do the handwritten thing.

    October 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  50. nenad

    Regular mail didn't go away after email was invented. I think it will be decades before social networking sites will eliminate email....if ever.

    I can't stand social networking sites....but it is the best way to keep in touch with people I don't talk to on a regular basis....

    October 16, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  51. Paula

    Where else can I get as many free advertisements and offers??
    As long as businesses can deliver their messages free of charge, e-mail will exist.

    October 19, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  52. martino


    I'm here in Paris and just saw the piece on the end of email on CNN TV. I can't believe you used stats from Experian to illustrate that email is less used than platform-based communication sites, like Facebook. Please tell me you are aware of the fact that a person can "use email" without ever connecting via a web interface?! The Experian stats only take into account traffic on web sites and thus only count those checking their email on Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, etc. Your numbers don't take into account all of those email users connecting via an email client, whether on their personal computer or mobile device. I don't want to be too rough, but that's not very responsible reporting.


    October 22, 2009 at 5:04 am |
  53. C Pennings

    I live in The Netherlands and have two kids aged 21 and 24. They no longer use email and think it's 'old school'. If I want to communicate with them, text messaging is the only way – it's their lifeline.

    October 22, 2009 at 5:04 am |
  54. Blake

    For business, no, email will be the main form of communication for some time to come.

    But socially, it's definitely all about Facebook and Twitter, most of the recent social gatherings I've been to have all been organised on social networking sites.

    October 24, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  55. Valarie

    I don't think e-mail is going out . I use e-mail all the time and sorry not a fan of face book or U-tube. I don't care how idiotic you act on face book or u=tube. Not everyone uses those services either.
    No one I know uses them so I have no need of them. never tried twitter
    and don't see the need for me to use it either. It's fine for those who use it , but not everyone lives in big cities where something like that could be useful .

    October 25, 2009 at 2:56 am |
  56. Logan

    I think that email will still be around ... it just won't be in the form we have today .... I think a move to a more "Unified Communications" approach to social interaction over the web is going to continue to take hold. We've seen tons of company's dabble with the idea ... but I think google wave, and the possibilites it brings for social networking, will change the way we communicate and collaborate over the web.

    October 27, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  57. gregorytt

    your template displayed incorrectly in my browser(chrome)

    November 3, 2009 at 9:10 am |