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E-mail Is For Old People 562

Posted by Zonk
from the back-in-my-day-we-had-pine-and-we-liked-it dept.
Strolls writes "Although the article itself doesn't seem quite as exciting or newsworthy, this headline from Reuters amused me mightily. Reuters' summary is here and here's the original survey by Pew Internet and American Life Project." From the article: "Internet users from 12 to 17 years old say e-mail is best for talking to parents or institutions, but they are more likely to fire up IM when talking with each other, the nonprofit Pew Internet and American Life Project found. E-mail is still used by 90 percent of online teens. But the survey found greater enthusiasm for instant messaging."
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E-mail Is For Old People

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  • by It doesn't come easy (695416) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @12:59PM (#13187145) Journal
    IM is for conversation, email is for documentation.

    IM is for communication in real-time, email is for communication any time.

    IM is for communication with someone online, email is for communication with someone online or offline.

    IM is for temporary messaging, email is for permanent messaging.

    IM is for instant messaging, email is for persistent messaging.

    As a group, teens have more time to sit and chat than adults, hence the preference for IMing friends. IM is just the electronic equivalent of hanging out at the mall.
    • by sidb (530400) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:04PM (#13187223) Homepage

      M is just the electronic equivalent of hanging out at the mall

      IM is the electronic equivalent of telephones, which are a notorious teen passtime.

    • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon@@@gmail...com> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:10PM (#13187312)
      Agreed. Just look at how popular IRC was when we were in our late teens and early 20s.
    • >>IM is for communication with someone online, email is for communication with someone online or offline. >IM is for temporary messaging, email is for permanent messaging. > IM is for conversation, email is for documentation.
      is about the only true statement.

      The great thing about IM is that you can use it Immediately or to pass and hold messages like email.

      Email isn't always reliable either. I have seen messages lost. But it is a better way to send a file to an offline person.

      Now if someone co
      • Not on MSN. MSN pass-and-hold depends on them being online. The lack of offline MSN messenging is the biggest annoyance when dealing with messenger users. I just use Miranda and don't care what client they're using, but always get annoyed when I find out I can't send a message because of the MSN network's missing feature. Email is not a substitute, as people have a lot less trouble ignoring a queued IM then just another email in their listing. I know I ignore my emails much more often than IMs.
    • In many cases...I agree with you. But, mostly only for home use.

      Most places I've worked for, actively block IM ports...and often have specific policies in place forbidding IM. On the other hand...email is permitted. Actually, I used email pretty much as a real-time communication tool. Then again, my friends and I are all pretty accomplished typists...speed wise that is.

      What actually puzzles me...is using cell phones to text message, rather than talk on it...pressing buttons multiple times for each letter

      • Dunno about you, but where I come from calling on a cell-phone costs money, and TMs are dirt cheap. Hence the popularity of text messages. Especially for long-distance.
      • If you press buttons multiple times per letter, you either don't know how to use your cell phone or have an old one.

        Besides that, using cell phones to text message is relatively quick, unobtrusive, and inexpensive (unless you choose a provider that practices price gouging). I can do it while I'm doing something else. Sure, if the conversation gets intensive, it's easier to talk, but usually a cell-text discussion is less engaged -- I might go half an hour, or even five hours, between responses. Which is
    • by reporter (666905) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:18PM (#13187417) Homepage
      The young adults of today are part of "Generation Y", which was discussed in a report titled "The Echo Boomers [cbsnews.com]" and broadcast by "60 Minutes" in 2004 December. The report states, " Levine calls the phenomenon visual motor ecstasy, where any cultural accoutrement that doesn't produce instant satisfaction is boring. As echo boomers grow up, they'll have to learn that life is not just a series of headlines and highlight reels ".

      The main reason that instant messaging (IM) is popular among young adults is that it provides the kind of instant gratification that e-mail cannot provide. IM gives you instant interaction with the other party: friend, girl friend, etc. E-mail responses are usually not instantaneous and depend on whether the recipient of the e-mail note has logged onto her computer and actually read the note.

      • Luckly IM has gotten around all that. You don't have to be online or actually read an IM to respond.
      • I have a younger sister, and it isn't surprising to see that her generation doesn't like email. I say this because:

        a) instant gratification, as stated above. We live in an even more 15-second world then when I was a kid.

        b) (and I think this is the more important one) they have nothing to say to each other. Aside from planning events on weekend evenings and such, the IM conversations I've seen between teens amount to little more than inane chatter. (I think we could even go so far as to lump 90% of
        • Children have never had anything to say to each other. Their conversation has always been inane chatter, mere practice for real conversation as adults. As such, children have generally never written letters to each other. E-mail is nothing different.

          I swear, the greatest myth is that the new generation is different from the last one. People have been complaining that children are only interested in "instant gratification" for hundreds of years.
          • by Luyseyal (3154) <swaters&luy,info> on Thursday July 28, 2005 @02:10PM (#13188055) Homepage
            Children have never had anything to say to each other. Their conversation has always been inane chatter, mere practice for real conversation as adults

            Have you ever sat and listened to random people conversing? Both the old and the young talk about stupid shit all the time. So children do not have a monopoly on "inane" conversation. Furthermore, children do talk about important things, just rarely when adults are within earshot.

            $0.02USD,
            -l

            • by thisissilly (676875) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @02:29PM (#13188268)
              Have you ever sat and listened to random people conversing? Both the old and the young talk about stupid shit all the time.
              And some of it is really fun to read [overheardinnewyork.com]. :-)
            • by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @02:51PM (#13188521) Homepage
              yeah important conversations like about boobies.

              Man I miss those conversations... now all we talk about at work is this boring crap like Sarbanes Oxley, Profits from last quarter, cutting operation costs, etc...

              nothing exciting like a great boobies discussion...

              SIGH.... the costs of being an adult are high.
          • It has been my experience that we adults don't have much to say to each other either.

            If it weren't for blockbuster movies & sitcoms, spectator sports, meaningless hobbies, hopeless political arguements, old tasteless jokes, and maybe occasional bad weather, many people would just spend all day simply trying to avoid eye contact with each other.
      • Pompous blabber (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @02:02PM (#13187964) Homepage
        The main reason instant messaging (IM) became popular with me is that my buddy Thad lives in Kansas City, while I live in San Francisco, yet we both happen to be sitting in front of computers all day. I later realized that it allows me to chat with my friend Dave, who works in an office in Redwood City, and we could both say the most horrible, offensive, profanity-laden things without alarming all the people in the cubes next to us.

        That's it. No pop psychology or armchair media-studies theories required.
    • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:21PM (#13187449) Journal
      I knew it. Kids these days just wont take the time to type up an email. IM is just not as personal as actually having a letter in your InBox. It's just not the same. IM is going to be the downfall of sociaty.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:23PM (#13187477)
      IM is a huge pain in the butt.
      IM is a distraction.
      IM is a total waste of my time.

      I used IM for a very brief period and got sick of everyone expecting an answer __right__ __now__. So I no longer use it. Ever.

      Didn't /. just have an article about three minute distraction intervals and the loss of creativity?

      Bingo!

      You want an answer from me, send email.
      When I get around to it, I'll read it. And then after that, when I get around to it, I'll answer it.

      EMAIL works. IM interrupts work.
    • IM is for instant messaging, email is for persistent messaging.

      As a group, teens have more time to sit and chat than adults, hence the preference for IMing friends. IM is just the electronic equivalent of hanging out at the mall.


      Also, as the attention span decreases and need for instant gratification increases, things like waiting for an email is unacceptable. Much like snail mail has become unacceptable as a form of communication between people (except for people in prison, they have all the time in the w
    • With IM, you give up your desires, needs, wants, ambitions, politics, loves, hates, hobbies, friends, and families to the corporate machine. All text is there to be consumed by a data mining engine created for the sole purpose of knowing about you. Beware of using IM at a company. Beware of using IM if you work for the government, or state. Beware of using IM at home. Unless you are running your own messaging service, you won't be free from scrutiny. Of course the same is true for free email services
      • Beware of using IM at a company. Beware of using IM if you work for the government, or state. Beware of using IM at home.

        Phew. Well, I guess that just leaves my private network of Apple IIe computers in my RV in the middle of the Nevada desert.
    • IM is for instant messaging, email is for persistent messaging.

      Calling it Persistent Messaging will drop off after a while, though...

      "Did you get my pms?"
      "What? I... is it not affecting you anymore?"

      "I need to go check my pms"
      "Well check it away from me! Erm... is it over yet?"
    • Is the RIAA the teen equivalent of an old man yelling "Get off my lawn!"?
    • I run a network of around 500+ users/computers and I'm not saying this is true everywhere but our IM traffic is around 95% non work related. It's just a bunch of boredom relieving noise. I know this because I sniff, log and monitor all the conversations. Some of the gossip is quite entertaining too.
    • IM is for conversation, email is for documentation.
      IM is for communication in real-time, email is for communication any time.
      IM is for communication with someone online, email is for communication with someone online or offline.
      IM is for temporary messaging, email is for permanent messaging.
      IM is for instant messaging, email is for persistent messaging.


      IM is for none of the above. At least, it isn't until there is a single standard IM protocol. As things presently stand there are, what? Four protocols? Fiv
  • by bigwavejas (678602) * on Thursday July 28, 2005 @12:59PM (#13187154) Journal
    Of course kids are going to love instant gratification through real-time instant messaging as opposed to email. Until they grow up and find themselves in business situations where they're going to need to coordinate meetings, share presentations/comments and work with peers/partners who live in different time zones there simply isn't a need for them to use email. Can you imagine logging in and finding your desktop covered with IM pop-ups from customers and colleagues? It's just not practical in the business arena to use IM as the only means of communication.
    • Can you imagine logging in and finding your desktop covered with IM pop-ups from customers and colleagues?

      Obviously, you haven't been in MY office anytime recently?

    • "It's just not practical in the business arena to use IM as the only means of communication."

      Aye. You are correct, sir.

      At the last company I worked for (a startup), I set up a jabber server on the local network, one that would be accessible over the VPN, too. It was extremely handy for those times where someone was offsite, perhaps visiting a customer, working from home or travelling somewhere and you just needed to ask a quick question or get a quick status. We used jabber server and GAIM clients so th

    • Let's rephrase the survey... apprently Pew Research wasn't clever enough to notice that the difference isn't your age so much as it is your level of responsibilities.

      People with jobs, spouses, kids, and other responsibilities don't have the idle time to keep up with constant interruptions for meaningless chit-chat. When we do chit-chat, IM is far far too slow and time consuming - we actually communicate using strangely effective organs evolved from prehistoric times called "vocal cords".
  • In America, only old people use e-mail.
  • Oh god, (Score:4, Funny)

    by Daverd (641119) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:00PM (#13187168) Homepage
    Here come the Korea jokes.
  • by Valiss (463641) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:01PM (#13187179) Homepage
    ...AFTER they get a job. If I get less than 50 e-mails a day at work, it's a Christmas day miracle.
  • ...or all over?
  • Guess I'm old then. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kenja (541830) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:01PM (#13187186)
    I for one hate IM due to the abbreviated "1337" speak used in it. I also hate having to search back through the Trillian logs looking for somthing someone said weeks ago.
  • by ShaniaTwain (197446) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:02PM (#13187202) Homepage
    Did you hear that 18 year olds? You're old people now. Grab a prune-juice and check your email.
  • by cablepokerface (718716) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:03PM (#13187215)
    E-mail Is For Old People

    So those VIAGRA spammers knew about this long before this research.
  • Thanks, here's another bomb: talking enthusiastically preferred to writing letters for conversation among peers located within 10 feet of each other.
    • Teenagers are obssessed with IMing each other. I've seen two teenagers sitting right next to each other sending each other IMs. I just file it under "teenagers do dumb things."
  • im is synchronous

    email is asynchronous

    so they both have their pluses and minuses as a communicaiton medium, depending upon what you are doing

    i think the kids are just restating the fatigue we are all feeling from the effects of email spam
    • Email is asynchronous? Someone has never worked in a modern office in a midsized-to-large enterprise. Trust me....in a corporate office, the exchange server will dutifully plug away as you and 5 other co-workers hit reply all every 3 seconds. [*sigh* -- i miss pine....]
      • Ack! (Score:3, Funny)

        Email is asynchronous? Someone has never worked in a modern office in a midsized-to-large enterprise. Trust me....in a corporate office, the exchange server will dutifully plug away as you and 5 other co-workers hit reply all every 3 seconds. [*sigh* -- i miss pine....]

        If I ever wrote malware, it would strip the "reply all" button off of outlook. I love "reply all" the best for listserves though. Nothing like getting a bunch of "How do I subscribe to this list" messages in my inbox.

  • The moment I saw this story pop up in my google news summary, I -=knew=- that a posting on slashdot was in the making.

    Finally, I'm an old person ... and I didn't even have to wait until I was 40.

    -=sigh=-

  • by SABME (524360) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:05PM (#13187253)
    I suspect this is largely true, mostly because we "older" folks have more responsibilities that preclude us from hanging out and IMing each other.

    I use IM at work to talk with other folks about the crisis du-jour. With a million things clamoring for my attention all day, it's nice to have an asynchronous medium like email for things that don't need a response *right this instant*.

  • IM: Turn off logging and it's great for unrecorded, quick or asynnc. private conversations with coworkers. (I know it's unsecure-- not too concerned about that, being the admin & all).

    If anyone starts using l33t speak during IM conversations, I'll run over to their desk and beat them with a wet noodle.
    • (I know it's unsecure-- not too concerned about that, being the admin & all)

      Jabber (in some forms) supports SSL and TLS encryption -- we're using a Jabber server in my department to facilitate communications, and I made damn sure it was encrypted, otherwise the admins with the sniffers would be shutting that server down if they saw what we were saying about them....
    • IM: Turn off logging and it's great for unrecorded, quick or asynnc. private conversations with coworkers. Um... How do you make sure the logging is turned of on both ends?
  • by edraven (45764) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:07PM (#13187275)
    Raise your hand if you remember when the command for Instant Messaging was 'write'.
    • Re:OMG,itz s0 gnu! (Score:4, Informative)

      by geniusj (140174) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:09PM (#13187305) Homepage
      *raises his hand* .. talk and ytalk were very useful too ..
      • Re:OMG,itz s0 gnu! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by wscott (20864)
        I still think 'talk' was a much more interactive experience. When you can watch the other person type, you can interact much quicker.

        Do any of the current IM clients send each keystroke?

        • Re:OMG,itz s0 gnu! (Score:2, Informative)

          by edraven (45764)
          Some tell you that the other user is typing, I think that's about it.
        • I still think 'talk' was a much more interactive experience.

          Still is. Which is why I still use talk a lot more than any IM. It just saves a lot of time, if you can guess what the other person is typing and start to reply. We use talk regularly around the office, sometimes using e-mail to request a conversation, so as to make it less disruptive.
        • Re:OMG,itz s0 gnu! (Score:3, Informative)

          by PureCreditor (300490)
          In talk it makes sense to send EACH single keystroke, because chances are, people are logged onto the same Unix system, so the roundtrip communication time is basically the system bus - i.e. instant.

          with the internet, u're confined to (a) the size of an IP packet, and (b) ur pipe. A 100byte message would've exploded into 20KB worth of IPv4 headers.

          Fun? yes. Usefulness? debatable. Resource-thrashing? Ooooo yes!
      • This was very handy for sending messages to friends in class. As soon as the TA was near them, I would send the worst thing that popped into my head using BANNER.
    • How 'about SMSG RSCS?

      smsg rscs msg sysb bsmith lunch at what time bill?
  • by amichalo (132545) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:07PM (#13187282)
    In the office we use both IM and e-mail.

    IM is used when we have a quick question, need to check and see if someone is in before we transfer a call, want to know who wants to get some Chineese for lunch, etc.

    We e-mail our clients. We e-mail project status reports, team task lists, meeting agendas.

    IM replaces what we would say on a phone. e-mail replaces what we would print on a printer.
    • IM replaces what we would say on a phone. e-mail replaces what we would print on a printer.

      And just to clarify, teens, as the article discusses, would do the same things. They wouldn't IM a professor their homework. They wouldn't e-mail a girlfriend to see if she wanted to hangout later.

      Teens don't use e-mail as much because what they have to say is of far less consequence than those in corporate environments who's jobs are to 'document' things.

      When they get jobs, they will e-mail more too.
    • I agree, my metric is usually anything that I know needs more than about 10 seconds of somebody's attention should be sent by email. I'll IM somebody to point something quick out or ask a one off question, but for a detailed analysis or extensive comments, it's always going to be email. Long or thoughtful IMs just don't get read most of the time.
  • IM VS Email (Score:2, Interesting)

    My parents have no clue how to Use IM, but they did get into email somewhat, so I see the point there. And teenagers who don't have a job, and who have friends that don't have jobs, have no need for email as all their friends are always going to be online, or at the very least have an away message up. However, in the business world no matter what age you are you're going to use email. And in the gaming world no matter what age you are you're going to use IM's. In short, while age is a factor, I think occupa
  • I must be REALLY old (Score:2, Interesting)

    by durbnpoisn (813086)
    I only use IM when I have to. Like, if I need to actually have a conversation right away. Otherwise, I prefer email. So, I must be older than dirt.

    In related news, I will never understand these people that insist on using IM over their phone! Fucking, just call the person! Ass.

  • Nice Numbers.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Yad (713195) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:08PM (#13187291)
    90% still use email, but have "greater enthusiasm" for IM? Somehow I don't get the conclusion that email is for old people from that.
  • It's true.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    I'm 18 and I get about 2 emails a week but spend hours talking to people over AIM,IRC,MSN,MUCKs, etc. That's both good and bad, if someone's trying to keep a conversation going over email, I can take my time in replying and IMs have their downfall in that you pretty much have to reply instantenously. Feh.
    • I hate being a Nazi, but I've read this so many times and it's finally got to me: a downside is a flaw, a downfall is something, perhaps a flaw, perhaps not, that is your undoing.

      What you are talking about is a downside, not a downfall unless you think it means the end of IM.
  • The adults and older people should be happy that teens are using IM's. Because..:
    They aren't calling long distance on the phone or using too many cell phones minutes to talk to their friends.
    AND In many cases they aren't tying up a phone line (if they have broadband).
    I say this because it's the adults who will most likely be paying the phone bills and/or not being able to use the phone if their teenager is on it all day.
    • "They aren't calling long distance on the phone or using too many cell phones minutes to talk to their friends."

      Hmm...most every cell phone plan I know has free long distance. Those text messages aren't free to send...

      I think this might have been more of a correct statement a few years ago..but, now, most all plans have free LD...and the amounts of time they give you monthly might as well be unlimited too...

  • by fermion (181285) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:13PM (#13187350) Homepage Journal
    I think this is what doomed one of my prior relationships. I was and relatively old Emailer. She was a relatively young IMer. Incompatibility ensued.

    (interesting side note is that emailer is old enough to be in the dictionary, but IMer is not. One is truly old when one's verbifications are standard.)

  • by Rob_Bryerton (606093) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:15PM (#13187379) Homepage
    Apples are better than oranges.

    Story at 11.
  • Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fear the Clam (230933) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:16PM (#13187394)
    IM is synchronous; e-mail is asynchronous. See the literature [december.com] for corresponding behavior.
    • aha, but what about asyncronous IM. Gaim for example has it's buddy pounce feature (so you can have various things trigger other things) that's most useful for leaving IM messages for someone who's not around. I know a couple companies have been trying to get into the business of delayed delivery IMs too....
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:19PM (#13187422)
    Don't get me wrong, I was a shortsighted twit when I was a teenager, too. What an ass! But all this does is document that teenagers:

    1) Think the whole world revolves around them,
    2) that is does, or should do so right now,
    3) that anyone who isn't talking to them right now is a loser,
    4) and that MTV has further reduced their attention span to that of a gnat.

    In other news: teenagers think belts, savings accounts, and employers are also for Old People.

    "Timmy, write your grandmother a thank you note for paying your tuition this semester."

    "I can't - she's not online. What an old loser!"
  • Ha :) (Score:5, Funny)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:19PM (#13187426) Homepage Journal
    I just imagined /. in real time (an open chat room):

    -FriSt Pst, b147ch35!

    (with heavy Russian accent): -Hot grits. Get your hot grits here.

    -Oh, yes, Nataly Portman always reminds me of a good big bowl of nice steaming hot gritz.

    -GOOGLE ROKZ. THIER ARE THE CLOOOEST! I AM A ROKCET SCENTEIST >LWE>F PFQ!FP !

    -In soviet Russia, Rocket Scientists Google YOU.

    -Oh, man, I remember this one time, in the band camp....

    -Yes, Microsoft is the evil empire. They are releasing this new service, a total Google rip off too...

    -Microsoft is just trying to play nice, and here on /. it's always like: argh, we are the pirates, MS is the biatch! Leenux all the way!

    -It's Mr. GNU/Linux to you, a55h47.

    -Give man a fish and he ows you a fish. Hit him on the head with a fish and he just swims there in the fishery. For the dead fish.

    -4ll y0ur b453 4r3...

    -You, dumb ass, this 'all your base' crap is like 10 years old. Get with the program!

    ----------------------

    Yup. I can see why teenagers like the IM more than email. You have to think before sending an email (well, at least a little more) because you don't have the easy way to instantly correct what you just said.
  • Communication users from 12 to 17 years old say postal mail is best for talking to parents or institutions, but they are more likely to dial up a phone when talking with each other, the nonprofit Pew Internet and American Life Project found. Postal mail is still used by 90 percent of teens. But the survey found greater enthusiasm for phone calling.

  • by Octagon Most (522688) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:22PM (#13187469)
    "E-mail is still used by 90 percent of online teens. But the survey found greater enthusiasm for instant messaging."

    "Three-quarters of teen Internet users use instant messaging, compared with 42 percent of adults."

    OK, 90% of teens use email and 75% of teens use IM. Yet teens have a "greater enthusiasm for instant messaging"? Sure, a greater enthusiasm than adults (75% to 42% according to this survey). Is that a surprise to anyone? But they are still more likely to be users of email. So what's the point of this?
  • i talk to all my friends on IM. i rarely ever use the phone, unless I'm out which is when I'll use my cell for a quick "hey where are you when are you getting here" if we're coordinating a get-together someplace. i hate talking on the phone.

    i use email to talk to professors, club leaders, parents and relatives while at school, etc...
  • by modi123 (750470)
    This is probably going to equate me with the Stone Age, but I find both email and IM rather impersonal. I would rather get up, and walk the 10 feet to talk to the person directly. I find breaking the isolation gets better results. *shrug* Why cut out 70% of my communication abilities (read: body language). If something goes south on a project I can reinforce behavior with my 6'7 frame. *grin*
  • Same shit, different bun.
  • What is Hardware email? All my email is sent through software. Have the invented an E-mail accelerator chip now?

  • Old Memories (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @01:50PM (#13187816) Homepage Journal
    I don't know why there's a big distinction between "email" and "IM". Every IM has the same sender/recipient info as email, even if it's not shown in the UI. And it's got its own routing info that's not SMTP, so those metadata aren't relevant - but in parallel. The IM UI really just automatically focuses the email UI and hides it. Then uses a different network protocol for transmission. Yes, the techs and RFCs are different. But there's no reason that IMs, if only stored, can't be directly transformed into "emails".

    A good email database would store all these messages, as well as phone messages (including recordings of live, synchronous standard conversations), faxes, and every other "personal message", in a structure allowing a "metaformat". Depending on the MIME type of the message, it would associate with MIME-dependent variants of its address and transport. Even mismatches, like IM's missing "Subject:" data, could default to "IM: Alice to Bob 2005/7/28 13:48 EST" or the first line of the body. Then people could correspond across all these messaging techs, without getting trapped in the means to the end of interpersonal communication. The "universal inbox" could transcend all the media, and just bring people together, if it mapped these formats within a GUI that even old people could just use, without getting hung up on the technical limits.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @02:17PM (#13188129)
    E-mail Is For Old People

    Back in my day, we didn't have these fancy IM thingees. We had smoke signals. In some bad winters, we ran out of dry wood to burn, so we burned dirt! There's nothing like sending a "I pwned you!" dirt smoke signal to somebody who's fire I just rooted.

  • by xx_chris (524347) on Thursday July 28, 2005 @02:28PM (#13188262)
    I keep in touch with everyone I know through Anonymous Coward postings on Slashdot.
  • IM is still relatively spam-free. Wait until it gets bogged down with spam.

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