90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
Letters, E-Mail, Texts — What’s Next?

Letters are dead. E-mail outdated. Text messages so passé. What’s going on with how we communicate?

Texting (Steve Rhodes/Flickr)

(Steve Rhodes/Flickr)


David Gerzof, professor of media relations, social media and marketing at Emerson College. Founder and president of BIGfish, an integrated social media, PR, marketing, and social influence firm. (@davidgerzof)

Pete Pachal, tech editor at Mashable.com. (@petepachal)

Alex Hermacinski, 15-year-old freshman at Wellesley High School in Massachusetts. (@herma_crab)

Is Email As We Know It Dead?

Email use is declining as more users adopt social media platforms and real-time mobile-chat applications, according to our conversation on Wednesday.

The shift from email to newer forms of communication is the result of a consumer trend favoring real-time communication methods offered by applications like Twitter, SMS text messaging, WhatsApp and Kik.

“You see things like email — and even Facebook to some extent in terms of how it’s evolved — looking more like it’s five minutes ago, it’s 10 minutes ago,” Mashable tech editor Pete Pachal said in the interview with Tom Ashbrook. “It’s not what a lot of people demand in their communication all the time, and so they’re turning to these other, more specialized apps that serve that very specific need to communicate with people in real-time.”

Some mobile apps also lower the bar to activate and engage in conversation. Snapchat, a real-time photo-sharing app that self-destructs a message within seconds of it being received, enables a user to open and send a photo with a few simple hand gestures. The time between thought and message is reduced.

“I think mobile and instantaneous go hand in hand,” David Gerzof, professor of media relations at Boston’s Emerson College, said in the same interview with Ashbrook. “And when you’re thinking about email it does take a while to send and receive.”

The decline in email use also has economic roots. Many applications being used instead of email are free to download. The only cost the user incurs is measured in the form of data, which costs much less than the $0.20-per-text message some carriers charge.

“It’s really one of those things that’s a bit overpriced,” Pachal said. “If you look at what it actually costs the carriers to use and to implement SMS on their networks, it’s much less than what you’re actually paying for. And that’s a huge factor.”

But email isn’t the only platform to suffer. With the rise of mobile and chat-based apps, some young people have even abandoned Facebook, opting to use it only in certain cases.

Alex Hermacinski, a 15-year-old freshman at Wellesley High School, is one of those people. She joined On Point’s conversation and explained how she uses the platform:

I really only use Facebook for study groups. Say there’s 90 kids in my grade that have the same teacher — we’re all in one group so we can communicate, ask questions, and maybe share study guides.

That the next generation is leap-frogging some platforms may not be surprising; that often happens as new technologies are introduced and improved upon. But from a business perspective, the speed at which these platforms are being replaced is remarkable, Gerzoff said.

Perhaps the Facebook-Android event expected on Thursday will lend some additional insight into what the platform will do to address the emerging real-time communication trend.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Wm_James_from_Missouri
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000186426179 Donna Van

    It is a sad world when our I-pad, cell phone or tablet become our best friend.  The lack of human interaction is becomming a thing of the past.  No more smiles to warm the heart.  No more selling your self with a hand shack and vocal interaction.  No more getting the job and then filling out the app.

    • Expanded_Consciousness


  • Jasoturner

    The easier communication has become, the sloppier it seems to become.  Some of the email I receive is appallingly bad in terms of logical structure and grammar.  To me, lazy communication often seems to travel as a companion with lazy thinking. 

    I can’t know if there is a causal linkage, but the present ability of people to communicate (professionally) without slowing down to think about what they are writing or how it presents to the reader strikes me as a negative development.

    • J__o__h__n

      I hate having to decipher abbreviations that take more time for the reader than they save for the writer. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Tangent: You’re an engineer. I’m curious to find out from people in all professional walks what the bare minimum of connectivity is so one can be called a “team player” in their particular field.

      Is it possible for the next person interviewing in your workplace to get a job, let alone a good review, if they’re not available by a cell phone 24×7? How about a smartphone so they can see diagrams or budgets or Skype?

  • LianeSperoni


    I wonder if you could mention the growth of online petitions. Theoretically, it seems like a great way for citizens to communicate with their government. I signed a change.org petition for a cause I felt very strongly about, but then I started getting auto-emails for petitions for every kind of issue. There is probably nothing wrong with signing them (although some petitions aren’t actually demanding anything specific from elected officials.) To the extent that they may raise awareness I guess it is a good thing. But if elected officials know that signing an online petition is as easy a click or two, I am concerned that they will not take any petition seriously. An email sent directly to one’s Congressional representative in one’s own words (not the suggested text of an interest group) would seem to hold more weight-  which is odd in an institution where majorities are everything. But at least it is personal and takes a little time and energy.

    • carl_christian

      The logical next step is to print out your personal email and send it as snail mail — then it will really stand out when it arrives in Washington DC.

      • LianeSperoni

        Good idea- but they say Congress shuns regular old mail on account of the anthrax scare 12 years ago. Nice world we live in, eh?

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    Next: The return of the voice. Less typing. Less keyboards. Voice-to-text. Controlling our machines through vocal commands. Google glasses (sending voice messages, composing voice-to-text messages, enabling video chat). We will not spend as much time punching keys.

    • Shag_Wevera

      My tech communicating peaked about 3 years ago, and since I have noticed a bit of a personal pullback.  It isn’t intentional, and I’m not sure why it has happened.  I’m also finding it harder to branch into new methods of technology based communication (texting etc).

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    The power of the written word to convey profound emotion and thought is only eclipsed by the dimensions added by heartfelt speech delivered by an animated persona. This may seem lost on generation BFF, but they are not the only generation spellbound by apps that enable us to avoid direct direct human contact and avoid confronting our fears and anxieties, and the challenge of developing and growing as individuals.

    Ultra-connectivity offered great promise but has undermined the intimacy of personal relationships and relationships with reality itself. People of all ages now seem to be anywhere but present. They are always ready to interrupt face to face engagement with their companions for ANY momentary interlude with someone somewhere else. It can be just plain rude.

    We are the victims of our affinity to indulge avoidance, choosing comfort over challenge, ease over effort.

    I once witnessed a group of  teens show up at a 4th of July fireworks show. They stood around in a circle, texting continuously for an hour, not once looking up at the marvelous show in the sky, not even looking at each other. Eyes down, thumbs typing, heads elsewhere. They might as well have been living in cardboard boxes in different cities all around the world hiding in their cozy digital cocoons not unlike the humans in ‘The Matrix’….  

    As a member of generation WTF, I gotta ask: you can use this
    blue app or you can use this red app… which is it gonna be? Checked-In or Checked-Out?

    Will the next big thing meet my needs?
    Don’t need no twitter.
    Don’t want more texts.
    Got eyes, ears, nose, and mouth
    and a piece of mind,
    but I still can’t get enough
    of that 4D Reality
    4My Peace of Mind

    - CUL8R

  • Shag_Wevera

    Combine technology with today’s brain mapping topic and maybe the result will be telepathy

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      You read my mind (probably with your drone flying over my head).

    • nj_v2

      We’ll have a little device or a cap or something worn on or to the side of the head that will receive our thoughts or what we desire to communicate, translate that to coded electrical signals, and broadcast them to a receiving device worn by the person who is supposed to receive the signal, who will be wearing a device that reverses the process. No need for archaic screens and such, it will be neuron-to-neuron communication between individuals.

      Soon after, there will be an implantable-chip option.

    • ToyYoda

      It’s already here.  Or  very close.  I’ve asked onpoint through emails and in web posting to do a show on this about 4 years ago.

      We have devices that can listen in on individual neurons located in the language centers of the brain (wernicke’s and broca’s areas.)  If you think verbally, in theory, devices can pick up your thoughts.

      These devices are very close to be being perfected.


      These devices right now, can make out ‘phonemes’, but not words.  So, basically syllables like ‘ab-, hel-, bah-, etc.’  Thus words that sound the same can be confused.

      If you dig around the internet, you can find the original papers.  I don’t have those links on hand.

      Anyways, it’s not hard to imagine converting verbal thoughts into a digital signal and transmitting it to another brain with these sensors.

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        It is very, very far from being perfected. Since our consciousness and unconsciousness is a jumble of language, visuals, memories, associations, auditory memories, etc., and all existing at different levels, the idea that the brain can be read by an external device and come out like a well-organized text or narrative is false. Science fiction.

  • stillin

    I don’t text. I don’t want to type. I will talk to someone face to face. There was a study out don’t know where I saw it, where the prediction is children will lack the ability to empathize with anybody, due to their removed way of communicating. I think communication has gotten unhuman and I resent it.

    • Shag_Wevera

      And I sure as heck don’t want to type with my thumbs!

  • SamEw


    • Expanded_Consciousness


  • andrea5

    I am forty years old and I still write letters. This is something we all have the power to do if we so choose; it is neither impossible nor a waste of time. Most of us love to receive a handwritten communication once in a while… it sure beats all the bills and junk mail.

    • Steve_in_Vermont

      I agree. I was stationed overseas in the 60′s and, with the exception of a Christmas phone call, letters were how I communicated with my family and girlfriend. Those letters are now invaluable. I can’t imagine an E-mail or VM being saved and treasured.

    • nj_v2

      Enjoy it while you can. Once the U.S. Post Office gets closed by the corporatists, private postal services will probably charge two-dollars to deliver a letter.

  • J__o__h__n

    I hate listening to other people’s pointless cell phone blather (especially on public transportation).  At least texting decreases that.  Although people who text at the movies should be beaten. 

    • Shag_Wevera

      Beaten and ejected, or just beaten?

      • J__o__h__n

        I don’t have a preference.

  • Kyle

    Not sure about the rest, but whatsapp is the same as texting

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    The quantity of communications if growing. The quality of communications? Is your life so interesting that I need to know the details 24/7, instantly? I doubt it. I know mine isn’t.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      The advertisers and the government needs to know. What are you doing right now?

      • Steve_in_Vermont

        Talking to “Jake” at State Farm.

  • dt03044

    The problem with “in the moment” communications is that one needs to be available at all times to participate.  My ex-wife is texting me at work as if I have nothing to do but respond instantly.  I just can’t………I’m busy!   And what about people driving?  Please don’t respond behind the wheel.  It’s okay to let the phone ring, and to ignore the text.  We have a right to unplug, and a right to privacy.  I guess I’m a geezer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/BGHooke Bruce Hooke

    I work from home so communication is important, both for my work and for my mental health. But, I find that email allows a level of thought to go into a conversation that I don’t get with other methods of communication. The simple act of writing and revising an email (I believe in writing well!) allows me to refine my thoughts.

    • Trond33

      This is critical.  I find that projects are better executed when things are written.  No excuses when something is recorded in writing. 

  • Jim

    i like the old fashion way… phone calls.. 

    but i don’t like texting… too much distraction in life. btw… i use to remember up to 50 phone numbers in the old days… i bet kids today can’t do that anymore.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      But today’s phone numbers have area codes which everyone has to use. And inexorable changes mean one can need to remember four or five of them during a workday whereas previously there was only one, or even none.

      Hey, remember in the “old days” there was no such thing as area codes? I may be dating myself, but to clarify: if you were a suburban kid and calling a number with an area code (or dialing “1″ first), you’d probably better have cleared it with your mom or dad so that when the printed phone bill was examined every month there weren’t any surprising long-distance charges.

      • Jim

        I do… man.. that was in the early 80s… but the area code does not faze me either.. my mind was a sponge… not now however, thanks to today’s smartphones.

    • adks12020

      haha..I still remember phone numbers of my friends from when I was 12 (I’m 31) but I have a hard time remembering my girlfriend’s phone number now except the first three numbers because my cell phone remembers it.

      • Jim

        you got distracted by her looks on your smartphone directory after the first three numbers.

    • Trond33

      I keep a printed list of friends and family telephone numbers with me.  Some years ago at 2:30 a.m. a friend came knocking on my door.  He had been mugged, they took his phone and wallet.  He had no Metro card, no money for a cab and did not know anyone’s telephone number.  Plenty of phones to borrow from people, but useless if you don’t know the number to call. 

  • nj_v2

    Ha! Funny to hear the panel talking about the Young People as if they’re some kind of remote, foreign tribe. On second thought, maybe that’s not a bad analogy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.foster.7311 Steven Foster

    I think an important distinction is still between open protocols and commercial services.  Email is an open protocol, not tied to any company, and interoperates world-wide.   All the other mentioned services ( Facebook, twitter, etc ) are “walled gardens” associated with a particular company and server site platform.   The economics of competition encourages the companies to keep these services walled:  e.g.  Facebook finds it disadvantageous to interoperate with SnapChat.     Would users find an advantage in open platforms for messaging?  

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    Three choices: the written word, the human voice, human embodiment (video, hologram). Virtual Reality (VR) is the future.

  • CatInBoston

    I wonder if the reason kids don’t use email is because they’re kids… they’re communicating for entertainment, not for planning, organizing, coordinating. I’d be curious to see if this instant-chat generation will start using email (or its future equivalent) once they start using communication for more ‘business-like’ matters, instead of just for fun.

  • nj_v2

    C’mon, guys! 

    Someone take an imagineering stab at the e-communications landscape in 10, 20, 50 years! Stretch us a little.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Seriously! All you are doing is telling us what is happening today, OnPoint. No, duh.

  • adks12020

    I’m 31 and the older and in all honesty I have gradually been less and less interested in new apps and electronic communication. When Facebook falls by the wayside (ie. my friends stop using it) I will be done with those kind of sites. I’ve already stopped using it for any reason other than gathering groups of people together for events.

    I see myself staying up to date on technology necessary for my work life and that’s about it. More communication isn’t necessarily better communication.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alex-Gonzalez/100001788129714 Alex Gonzalez

    Can you please ask your guests about Vine?


    An interesting connection between shows today. It will be so informing to be able to map brains in the future and see the “addiction” areas just expanding and the “relationship” areas beginning to atrophy. Those for whom a device has become a vital appendage already cannot tell time, compose sentences and speak with people in meaningful ways. While there are many good things about tech innovations, we must also take care to protect the most important things about being humans together.

  • carl_christian

    The variety of comments & callers so far simply seem to point out why Evolution hasn’t given up on a some very old genetic ‘inventions’ — like cockroaches, for instance; it’s a very large universe and diversity is its hallmark, not monoculture. There is plenty of room out there in the communications milieu for email, snailmail, future mail, and no mail. It seems that once something is formed out of the Void, no matter what that something is, our known Universe has a difficult time letting Chaos reclaim it to the Void. Jeez, we’re even talking cloned dinosaurs next… Let diversity reign supreme!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lindagkatz Linda G. Katz

    Something like Snapchat, where the message disappears after a minute or 2, is making it ever more difficult to actually communicate. I was in the middle of a conversation with my teen, and she “had to” check her I-pod because the photo was going to disappear.  Scares the devil out of me to think about what happens when she’s driving and one of these “urgent” messages comes thru. 

    • carl_christian

      I worry that people are going to overestimate the privacy level of these new apps — as soon as it is digital and sent over the Internet, it is ‘big data’ that is likely being captured somewhere by someone, regardless of whether or not it ‘disappears’ to/for the users.

  • 1OnPointFan

    I get really frustrated when you say Email is dead!  That’s ridiculous!  It’s fantastic in a million ways. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/samuel.ligo Samuel Ligo

    I was really impressed by Alex Hermacinski’s interview.  She was bright and intelligent with good grammar and diction.  When I heard that you were about to talk with a 15yo, I braced myself for “like, like, like,” and “you know, you know, you know.”  Miss Hermacinski, thank you for busting that stereotype!     

  • chrisspy

    Opt-in email eliminates junk. Lawyers have been using for years. Put everything in junk folder, unless I give you permission to send me emails. I don’t mean the typical opt-in but a service that blocks everyone unless permission’s given.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.slater.585 Aaron Slater

    what about security?  with all these new apps being produced who knows who is protecting your communications if at all?  These new forms of communication really are being used by children as a way to find new methods to connect where their parents are not listening in.  The issue is that this leaves them vulnerable to new sophisticated methods of marketing and advertising that takes place in a space with no oversight or regulation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrishoffmeier Christopher Hoffmeier

    Society is like a brain. The brain uses a plethora of messenger types. Some last longer than others, some not very long at all, and some form lasting memories. It’s all about the collective use of all of them that allows society to interact with itself in a healthy way.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    We had a caller who realized that discretion is important.

    So when is too much, too much? What pushes people to realize that there’s a lot of trash in the air and they are wasting there life listening to mindless garbage? At what point will our stratified cultures recognize this?

  • Isernia

    My l6 year old grandson missed messages on his birthday which happened to fall during Lent…he gave up all electronic messages during the pre-Easter 40 days !

  • nkorths

    Can someone come up with a dissolve email app. That would b so sweet.

  • nkorths

    Can someone come up with a dissolve email app. That would.b.so sweet.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.weiskel Tim Weiskel

    The new forms of e-communication will be scanned and recorded by the
    National Security Agency’s vacuum cleaner approach to gathering
    “intelligence” and the new “brain research” programs will then be able
    to identify precisely who’s attitudes will need “adjustment” in time for
    the next election.  

    We can look forward to new forms of government sponsored brain research and communication to assure a comfortably and politcally engineered consent, cf. Noam Chomsky.

  • ebrown409

    Imagine politics, everybody’s thought will be instant and we can all pool our data to come up with a decision and then accept it based off of Information and Science involved because it’s all available could spell the end of religion. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    The presumption of this show is all wrong. No one can dispute that communication media change all the time, but the use of a particular medium depends on both technological progress (e.g., increasing expressiveness) *and* on requirements for responsiveness. Email is used less and less by young people because they are more used to being in regular, interrupt-driven contact with their peers, not because “email is for old people,” no matter how much they might claim that. When these kids get into corporate America, or when they get older and busier and can’t live their lives in an interrupt-driven manner, they will move toward systems like email (or whatever replaces email, if anything) that presume delayed response in a way that texting does not.

    At 37, I’m a geezer by technological standards, but I use texting, Twitter, Facebook, Campfire, Google Video Chat, Mumble, etc., as well as email. They are all useful in their own ways.

    • http://twitter.com/bbelgard Brian Belgard

      as a 25 year old professional I couldn’t agree more. The idea that my generation just “doesn’t do email” is so overly simplistic.

      If email is dead, I have a few dozen messages from beyond the grave waiting for me now. 

      • J__o__h__n

        I read about a service that allows you to send emails to relatives after you have been taken by the Rapture.  I wonder if they are updating that to send texts.

  • hecanthelpit

    Why doesn’t the US mail focus on what IT offers, unique to IT, such as the legal consequences of fradulent claims sent through the mail, or becoming a gaurantee, legally, since that thinking is already in place, and, say, email the avenue for school communication and perhaps online purchasing, whatever; rather than trying to become competitors on every level, become more FOCUSED, marketing what each does or could do best.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arttoegemann Art Toegemann

    With any luck, the American Psychiatric Association will publish The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5 this year, revised so that it is no longer hostile to parapsychology.

  • Trond33

    This is a very interesting and important issue.  I insist that business contacts communicate via e-mail – phone conversations are followed up with an e-mail.  The written word is invaluable in keeping staff on track and on point.  However, I increasingly notice that the ability to write has gone the way of handwriting, it is horrible.  College professors have for twenty years lamented that students writing abilities are inadequate, I see the same in business.  People with BA’s, Masters and degrees beyond cannot follow one train of thought through a paragraph, much less an entire e-mail. The absolute worse are MBA graduates, they often seem to be piecing together snippets from case studies.

    Undoubtedly the inability to effectively communicate through the written word is holding back US business, and society at large.  There is a very real cost to slavishly following technology trends.  We should strive not to be slaves of technology, but masters of technology.  Apply critical thinking in utilizing technology to further our objectives.  

    • J__o__h__n

      No one incentivizes the MBAs to impact their emails by being able to write good. 

    • you can’t handle the truth

      I am so glad you mentioned the lack of writing ability in many people particularly MBA’s.  I do not have an MBA and do not even have a business degree.  When reading materials written by many business people I often wonder if my reading comprehension and understanding is lacking.  When I take a moment to re-read the item and analyze I soon realize it is the writer that in not writing clearly.  Unfortunately working within the start-up community it is a common problem.  And a bigger problem is in convincing these same people that clearly written, simple but not simplistic writing is most effective.

  • Trond33

    You hit the nail on the head – most people find these “social” apps and services useless.  Facebook and Twitter may have a gazzilion registered users, but only a small minority are active users.  The majority of us check them out to see their technological twists, but beyond that, there is little to no impact on our daily lives. 

  • http://twitter.com/AmeliaBTS Amelia C Burkhart

    Big challenge for Marketing, need to target messages and in the right form. Letters, E-Mail, Texts — What’s Next?  http://wbur.fm/16k3Rs1

  • Pingback: Is Email As We Know It Dead? | WBUR

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1356960138 Hannah Louise

    I use Whatsapp to talk to friends in England that I met during a semester abroad two years ago. It is so amazing to be able to communicate instantly on my phone with friends in different parts of the world–for free. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.rudd.greene Elizabeth Rudd Greene

     I make a lot of appointments with people and they change daily. I am my own secretary so texting works well – and I can save a record of communication. Snap chat would not work for me

  • Dave Hughes

    Thirty-three years ago (1980) when the first 300 Baud Modem connected Computer Bulletin Board (BBS) came online, and I plunged in with my Model I, TRS-80, I recognized that online dialogue was going to be different as everyone on the planet was going to be connected to everyone else.

    And, since I had always been a good writer and had taught at West Point in the late 50s, I began to craft what I called ‘Electronic English’ and – on request – I formally taught that subject. As a way to get students to both think about, and practice how best to ‘communicate’ intelligently ‘online. Not just ‘word processing’ on screens, but using the power, and limitations of online dialogue.

    I even developed a variation of Electronic English called ‘Word Dance’ – that resembled ‘visual speech.’

    Now I think schools – starting pretty early – should not only teach traditional written, and oral, English for paper and print books, and speech.  But also ‘Electronic English’ with attention to grammar, spelling, online abbreviations,composition, how what they ‘write’ looks to others on different systems (desktop computers, smart phones, with different operating systems. And be graded just as rigorously on computer screens over telecommunications to others, as they would be either orally, or in paper mail form.

    Its time for the Kids of America to learn Electronic English!

  • Nels Long

    Since 2005 a plethora of social media networks have been developed, some of which have made billions and some we have never heard about. Today social media start-ups seem to focus on minute deficiencies of other successful networks as the basis for their platform, leading to dozens of networks that all work a little different and none of them well. To me, this points to a saturation in the market. If social media companies want to take on the giants, facebook, twitter, google + (to some extent), then they need to start thinking beyond software. The future of our virtual civilization depends on our development of hardware capable of providing users with the ability to connect to their existing networks in the way they want to. Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) development is really just now starting to be seen as a plausible investment even after 20 years of research by a large number of experts. Google’s Project glass and Microsoft’s Kinect 1 & 2 are evidence of this, but are still lacking in application. We need work towards integration with every human sensory perception that is accessible everywhere. Once we have the hardware to allow a grandmother to have lunch with her grandson virtually from across the planet the the software behind social media will have the tools they need to up the ante. Until then social media start-ups will continue to over-saturate the market with a few good ideas spread far too thin.

    Nels Long
    Senior, Architecture Student
    Mississippi State University, Jackson, MS

    • SomeGuyNamedMark

      I don’t know about the hardware point but the saturation of vaguely differing apps is true.  The apps that succeed have little to do with the little differences between them but whether they have a critical mass of users.  I’m not going to join a social media site unless there are people there I care to talk to.

  • dhkim

    I’m 23-year-old college student in south korea and really interested in the conversation on air. This can be off topic, but i hope you to get informed about how messaging apps got Predominant in communication market In SK. internet-based chatting app ‘kakao talk’ had been introduced 2-3years ago and has changed the whole communication trend. It is number one media for interpersonal communication indeed. In my case,my majority of communication is done by that app and interestingly, i have never used emails for about six months. Also this app and other following apps have been threatening network service companies -we are not using sms!!! They experienced dramatic loss of profit compared to the days before. Messaging app companies make profit by implement social games on the social platform and social resources they constructed through those years

    • Joshua Hue

      I live in South Korea too. Even if you are not messaging through your service provider I guess you, as am I, are still paying for SMS service, so why would the companies care. It is part of your contract, right?

  • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

    for instant communication is use several xmpp / jabber based services like google chat. I also use text massing. however my primary form of communication is via email. I also use IRC for group chats on a wide range of topic. I still use facebook a lot as well.

  • Gregg Smith

    I’m not above crafting a hand-written letter, stuffing it in an envelope, putting a stamp on it and walking to the mailbox. I also like it when one is waiting there for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JasonRayStovall Jason Ray Stovall

    He that says it the simplest says it best … NFC+MMApps=?

  • anon

    I live in Kuwait, and people from young children to the middle-aged have been using Whatsapp widely for a year or two (and others, like Tango or Viber, but they’re not so popular – maybe because of their Israeli roots). I see very few young people on Facebook; they abandoned it a while ago.

    At 54, I use e-mail, Facebook and Whatsapp. I finally joined Facebook after all my friends told me they didn’t check their e-mail often. Now all of them are on whatsapp, so I recently was dragged into that… To me, it’s just like texting, but free (and you can send pictures – I look at photos, but actually,  I ignore most of the videos people send me). I have a Twitter account but never access it. 

    I don’t like to be connected 24 hours. I like the fact that I can read an e-mail when I feel like it, and reply when I have time. I turn the wifi off from my phone when I go to sleep…

  • Joshua Hue

    Love the show. I listen through podcast. I have to say your panelist for this one need to learn manners and turn the gadgets off when speaking to people, especially on the radio. As a result, I did not listen to the remainder of the show.

  • Regular_Listener

    Maybe I am speaking too soon, since I haven’t gotten thru the entire show yet, but to me this primarily serves as evidence of how terrified everyone is of appearing behind the times with technology and social media.  OK, so there are some new messaging apps out there and 15 year-olds (the ones with smartphones) are using them.  I am skeptical that this is really big news or evidence of anything truly new going on.

  • Annie

     I remember when my father was an independent insurance agent and the insurance companies he dealt with insisted that he buy a fax machine to eliminate the time USPS took to send claim forms, etc. He resisted, just as I do today when friends urge me to text, tweet, become their “friends” on facebook or throw away my old cell and update to an iPhone. I email or I pick up the phone whenever I want to communicate and it still seems to work okay for me.  Too bad I don’t have an email address for dad; it would be  something like BillV  at  HeavensInsuranceGuy.net. I think he’d be proud of me.

  • Adam

    Love the show +100500


Sep 18, 2014
Flickr/Steve Rhodes

After a summer of deadly clashes between Gaza and Israel, we talk to Jews on the left and right about the future of liberal Zionism. Some say it’s over.

Sep 18, 2014

Billionaires. We’ll look at the super super rich, and their global shaping of our world.

Sep 17, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

Sep 17, 2014
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson watches from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of a preseason NFL football game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP/Ann Heisenfelt)

The NFL’s Adrian Peterson and the emotional debate underway about how far is too far to go when it comes to disciplining children.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment