Email: The Nail in the Coffin

I have been musing for a while now about the seemingly imminent death of email, but last night I became convinced that personal email is already dead, we are just hammering the nails in the coffin.

Yes, there is no doubt that business email is still alive ( and broken and annoying)- but that is another post. Let’s focus on Personal email.

I was on a phone call with my mom when the ringing of the hammer sounded clearly.

“We decided to talk to Verizon and get off of AOL and just use our Verizon email.”

Excellent news! AOL ( stop cringing) was the right choice for my parents back in 1990, when the web was new and there were not many user friendly email interfaces. Now, it just inevitably led them to clicking on links in ways that launch that horrid AOL browser and things were broken. Plus, it is spending money on a service they really don’t need. Times are tight and money is not free.

“Your Dad was reluctant and is concerned about how the email will look, but I told him it really did not matter, hardly anyone we know uses email any more. When I look at my email, it is almost all junk or ads or things people forwarded me. We don’t have many people who send us stuff any more- you all moved to Facebook”.

Wow. Astute for a basically computer challenged person who strongly resists change of any kind. She was not happy about the shift, mind you- ( I did not even want to boggle her with the plethora of social networks where I have a home… we will just leave it as Facebook for now).

“I am going to have to get on Facebook if I want to keep in touch, and just when I learn it, you will all probably move someplace else. But there is no doubt that email is just dead.”

This from a 64 year old woman who is far from a computer analyst and does not know Facebook at all, apart from her grandaughters talking about it and the little bit we showed her over the Easter Holiday.

If she is not on Facebook soon, I have no doubt she will be on by the end of my daughters’ week-long visit with them the first week of June. Honestly, I think she will like it better than AOL email.. but for my sanity and hers, I hope someone solves the interoperability/open authetication/platform communication before they leave and migrate to the next great social networking platform and leave her behind on Facebook wthout a linkage.

5 thoughts on “Email: The Nail in the Coffin

  1. It sounds as if you are the Tech person in your family. I am impressed that it appears that you are getting you parents away from AOL. I wish i could. in fact maybe, just maybe, facebook is a way to do it. Great post.

  2. “We decided to talk to Verizon and get off of AOL and just use our Verizon email.”Bad idea. First, AOL is free if you switch to their free plan. Second, their one of the few free IMAP mail providers. Their email service, and spam protection, are superious to Hotmail and Yahoo. Finally, using ISP provided email (Verizon) is ALWAYS a bad idea… the only reson they offer it is to make it hard for you to switch when a better deal comes along…

  3. @bretteinteresting point about the free aol.. but that is only for aol web mail, yes? can you keep the same email addy when switching from paid to free? The reason them getting off of aol mail is good is because they are using the aol application, and when they click on a http link, it always opens in the aol browser ( which seriously sucks) and end up in broken limbo land. I agree with the using ISP email issue. luckily, we have a family domain, so I am trying to make them understand they can just use that email when changing and I can map that to whatever end email address they are using at the time.Do you like the IMAP service form aol better than gMail?? I earned income from AOL for a while, so understand that I am not an aol hater in any way.

  4. Mom is on Facebook — is dad using through her?You might find Luis’sexperiment in ditching work email interestingThis is the most recent posting of the experiment. Luis has been doing this for a while. Personally, I can’t imagine ditching my work email. But we are reducing it by using MS Communicator and SharePoint.

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