Young people reject email

Here’s a fascinating piece from the folks at Ars Technica (the art of technology), a website dedicated to power users of the internet. The story aggregates several recent articles and one study that strongly suggest email is only used by young people to communicate with “old people.” The preferences for talking with each other are instant messaging, text messaging and MySpace, and this poses problems for institutions that need to communicate messages to groups of young people.

While that’s certainly interesting, the Media 2.0 point is the rejection of one-to-many communications methods, also known as “mass marketing.” This is a common theme with disruptive innovations in communications these days, and one only needs to look at spam — and more importantly, what young people view as spam — to understand the revolt that’s underway.

As Doc Searls says, “There is no demand for messages,” and those of us in the message business need to acknowledge this before we can be successful in Media 2.0.


  1. re the “one-to-many” comment being the old way of communicating or mass marketing — I agree but want to add a comment re MySpace from my 20-something daughter. Correct — she doesn’t use e‑mail because she uses her my space page to communicate to ALL her friends. If you want to know what is going in in her life — she tells people to check that page. And only whenshe needs some private or personal communcation does she resort to the young-to-old method of e‑mail. My point is that in some strange way, MySpace is a “one-to-many” form.

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