I recently sent an e-mail to a teenage cousin who responded with a text message. I responded again through e-mail, and this time she answered with Facebook Messenger. She was obviously seeing the e-mails but kept choosing a more concise way to reply. Our conversation moved to Twitter’s direct messages, where it was ended quickly by the 140-character limit.
Later, we talked about the exchanges, and she explained that she saw e-mail as something for “old people.” It’s too slow for her, and the messages too long. Sometimes, she said, as with a Facebook status update, you don’t even need to respond at all.
Since technology hasn’t solved the problem it has created with e-mail, it looks as if some younger people might come up with their own answer — not to use e-mail at all.