Email? That's for old people, right?

Did... did you just text me a funny link by taking a photo of your screen with your phone?
Well you don't have Facebook Messenger so this was the easiest way
What's wrong with File/Share/Messages?
This is a PC, no messages on there besides WhatsApp
Your toy also doesn't have the ability to send email?
How often do you check your email?
Um, always and forever? I get push notifications.
Most people I know only check personal email once a day

Previously, previously.

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32 Responses:

  1. Jake Nelson says:

    Anecdotally, pretty much.

    For "share funny link" I use Google Hangouts, as that's conveniently notification-pop-upping and history-accessible on PC and phone. I'm pretty heavily integrated into the Googleborg though. Can't imagine using Facebook Messenger, but then, I've had all of * routed to localhost for about 8 years now.

    I used to have email full-blast, but there came a time when literally 100 political orgs mailed me a day and I had to give up and go to twice a day.

    • jwz says:

      There is an invention called "filtering".

      Notably, none of the direct message apps have it.

      • Jake Nelson says:

        Was never able to get inbox filtering to a balance between false positive and false negative that I was comfortable with. Sorting, yes, but not which things are inbox/notification-worthy.

        Not too many people message me, those that send too much or at weird times get their notifications shut off.

        My rotating-but-mostly-nocturnal schedule affects a lot, though; basically the majority of my communication is going to be asynchronous anyway since others are asleep, so delayed email is fine, or it's conversational, actively synchronous messaging.

        Obviously this isn't everyone or even "normal", though it does seem to be increasingly common.

  2. Amadea says:

    they'll pry my email from my cold, dead eyeballs.

  3. other Jamie says:

    I find it to be a feature. If the person asks for FB info instead after I offer my email, I know I don't need that person in my life.

  4. mdhughes says:

    The bigger problem seems to be each device is siloed.

    On Mac, I'd just send the link by iMessage. Or open iPhone's Safari, multi-page button, flip down to the bottom, and tap the link that's open on desktop Safari (sounds slower than it is, but still annoying). The reverse is easier, since there's a Handoff icon on the Mac Dock.

    Is there not an equivalent that works across all platforms? Only other clipboard sharing setups I see are either Chrome on desktop only, or Android and Windows.

    Email is nonsense, I check mine once a day and delete most of it.

    • pavel_lishin says:

      What does iMessage do? Is it just an SMS app?

      • mdhughes says:

        iMessage does both SMS (green bubbles) and fully-encrypted messaging between iMessage instances (blue bubbles); Apple holds your public keys, but only the local device has a private key.

    • Aaron Brown says:

      I use the link-saving app Pocket ( to copy links from Windows to my iPhone and iPad. (And also just to save links.) Still a hassle, but Pocket syncs fast and never drops stuff on the floor.

  5. Benjy says:

    I'm seeing more and more people consider E-Mail old fashioned. Despite the fact it's completely multi-platform and has far richer clients than any IM or similar system. It's the millennials again - if it's not "instant" it's not interesting.

  6. deater says:

    I use e-mail when teaching and I am shocked how quickly e-mail went from "what's this annoying futuristic e-mail thing you want me to figure out" to "why must we use this ancient technology, can't you text me the assignment instead".

    I still use e-mail because it's the least worst way I've found of collecting/returning programming assignments. It does lead to weirdness, from the students who only check their accounts once a semester, to ones that get annoyed when I send out grades at 3am because they have their phone set up to ring when an e-mail comes in.

  7. The critical nature of the information determines the medium, in order of most critical (critical being time and/or attention sensitive) to least (Mom):

    1) SMS / iMessage
    2) Google Hangout / Adium Chat
    3) Email

    There are a few people who I can only reach by Facebook Messenger, so I don't actually talk to them ever. I also don't associate with anyone under the age of 25, so I have no idea if email is now out of fashion completely. Boggles the mind that email would somehow not be the "delayed response" preference since it's the most device-agnostic of all of them.

  8. A. Wilcox says:

    As a millennial (1991 represent), I assure you we are not all dismissive of email.

    It's 2017 and we still don't have anything as effective as mailing lists for project release announcements. RSS? Sure, if you can find an app that actually supports the format and manages to notify you about it.

    It's 2017 and we still don't have anything as effective for sharing encrypted files with anyone. Governments are cracking down hard on encrypted messaging apps, and some don't even support attachments; I'm unaware of any government that has cracked down on something as fundamental as email. (Even the Cuban government still lets email in, and encrypted email is how a lot of journalism escapes their wall; see the RSF article on Internet censorship for more!)

    It's 2017 and my phone has flaky service and texts get "lost", but if I send an email, will queue it until it delivers successfully.

    Remind me again why some people are so eager to be rid of one of the last communication protocols the world has that is actually universal and does not require you to put your trust in a company to not read on your messages or spy on you? Oh right, no flashy interface or GIF reactions.. -eyeroll-

    • jwz says:

      Hey now, I also include snarky gif reactions in my email. The various gif keyboards work just as well there.

      Any time I hear about somebody who shuns email I think, "It must be nice to never have to keep track of anything." Seriously, does this only work if you are unemployed and have no responsibilities of any kind?

      • Mike Bruce says:

        I haven't relied on email at work for years. Things that need to be remembered, tracked, or stored happen in other places.

        • dzm says:

          It amazes me how much I have this argument at work.

          "Jira, Confluence, Slack, Lync. All of these are transient and ephemeral. They're great for tracking things now, but all of them are tied to licenses and third-party companies. Email is vendor agnostic, easy to archive, and persistent. For casual conversation between many different departments and disciplines, please use tools that are accessible and not locked-in to the whims of a third party. Please?"

          • Mike Bruce says:

            I have very little need of anything that isn't transient and ephemeral. I'm sure some people have different needs, but most of my communication is people reaching out for help with something, and is mostly conversational in nature. We don't do complex discussions over any kind of text-based tool, generally.

            A large technically heterogenous organization would be a reasonable reason to need email more, but I don't work at one of those.

            Bug tracking systems are great for tracking bugs. I mean, in theory. Jira is terrible, but still better than email.

            Again, I'm not saying that nobody needs or should need email; just that it has been my lived experience that email is inessential for plenty of jobs.

            • jwz says:

              So, "my job doesn't require me to keep track of anything, or have any actual responsibilities beyond what is right in front of me at any given moment."

              • Mike Bruce says:

                I have many responsibilities. But none of them require me to be able to look up old conversations.

                I need to know current projects, bugs, and so on. But the value of all of those things rapidly diminish as they age.

                I need to know details of application architecture. But those are either written down in a document (ideally in version control), or exist in my head.

                Early in my career I tried to have important discussions over email, but that mostly produced irritation that I didn't just talk to people in person instead. So I stopped.

                Now, my email is mostly automated notifications.

                • XuppdduX says:

                  Just another drive-through ... try to talk the talk with you guys, but since I Just got my hands-on personal android,and haven't Googlized it with ( ANY ) of the current/required Googly apps,maps,-n-zaps;don't FB,or twitter deedee, I can not reply to the relevance of the value of the instantaneous-instantiations in this new world view. But then you had to go and mention architure(which made me view some architure astronaut links).

                  So, with your auto mode, ... ... you don't need email.

                  • XuppdduX says:

                    The above comment was so I didn't have say something like -"However, separating functionality at the wrong boundaries can result in high coupling and complexity between features even though the contained functionality within a feature does not significantly overlap." from the MSDN documentation.

                • MattyJ says:

                  If I were your boss I'd be seriously concerned about 'exists in my head'. Perhaps you're young and haven't been involved in a lawsuit where you had to prove things happened in a certain timeline, or that you sent certain information out, or received a certain request at a certain time. At some point you'll get burned by info that's 'in my head' and you'll save that shit, for at least as long as your IT retention policy requires.

                  Can't even count how many times I've won a he said/he said argument by producing an old email.

                  • jwz says:

                    There's a certain person out in the world who see this shirt and thinks, "Ha ha, I am the person saying this":

                    But when that person believes that their inputs are the ticket system and their outputs are the git changelog... they are actually the person that this is being said to.

                  • Dave says:

                    I had a 5 year old email save my ass one time on a work access-rights issue. "are they supposed to have access?" "here's the email between me and you discussing exactly that, 5 years ago."

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