Will Email Be Replaced By Social Media?

By Amanda Bala

In today’s fast-paced, technology driven world, there is no doubt that we rely on our email, texts and social media to keep in constant communication with our friends, family and business associates.  However, there is a serious debate going on about whether email will eventually be replaced by the social media giants. 

When we look at this debate, there are many reasons why people are looking more and more to social media rather than email.  Generation Z is the first group that really seems to regard email as being too formal and time consuming.  There is a general consensus that it is more effective getting on a social media site and seeing everyone’s current status than taking the time to log into an email account and send out individual emails inquiring what a friend is up to.  Many individuals also feel that it is easier when sharing video, pictures, etc. to simply post them on their social media page where those that want to view the content can. 

There are also reasons why larger companies are shifting towards social media in their daily operations.  There is a definite advantage to real time communications when utilizing social media.  A simple company status update can keep everyone apprised of meetings, corporate events, etc.  Also, this can effectively stop the, “I never received the email” excuse that virtually everyone has used or been given at some point in their career.  It is estimated that by 2014, over 20% of business users will be using social media over email due to increased number of people on social media sites, changes in business firewalls and changing demographics.   

The flip side to the coin, however, are the numerous reasons why email will still be in use well into the future.  First, email is universal, while social media sites are not.  Virtually every person that uses the internet has an email address.  However, not everyone partakes in the social media phenomenon.  There are many individuals that for personal, security or reputation reasons refuse to utilize social media networking.  For these persons, email will always be a preferred method of communication. 

There is also the issue that many companies do not allow their staff to even access social media sites while on the clock.  They view the usage of these sites as a violation of company time and resources for personal applications.  Large companies often run into issues when trying to convert to social media sites.  They often do not know which sites to be on or they fail to master the particular features of the sites they are using. 

Lastly, even social media sites recognize the importance of email.  Most of the sites require an email address to even sign up.  Many of the sites offers and notifications take place via personal email.  Furthermore, though the social media giants offer messaging thru their sites, it is deemed more professional to email thru ones personal email account.

As we move forward in the age of technology, there is no doubt that many things will change and that social media will put an end to some of the things we have used in the past.  In this writer’s opinion, email will not be one of them.

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