Feb. 8, 2011 at 10:36 AM ET
Uh oh! According to a report by marketing research company ComScore, teenagers in the United States really seem to dislike sending e-mails lately. What's going on? Why on earth are kids in the 12-17 age group suddenly spending 59 percent less time glued to their inboxes?
According to TechCrunch's Alexia Tsotsis, those young ones are probably simply distracted by "social messaging platforms like Facebook and Twitter as well mobile communications." ComScore's report supports that theory by showing a steady increase in the time spent on social networking services as usage of web-based email declines.
There's more to it though: While kids in the 12-17 age range showed the biggest decline in web-based e-mail usage, they certainly weren't the only ones abandoning that particular method of communication:
Total web-based email usage declined 8 percentinthepast year,withthemostprecipitous decline occurring among 12-17 year olds (down 59 percent). Usage also declined marginally among 18-24 year olds,while more noticeable declines were seen among 25-34 year olds (down 18 percent), 35-44 year olds (down 8 percent) and 45- 54 year olds (down 12 percent).
Curiously enough though, there is a group that is actually warming up to using e-mail:
In contrast, however, usage actually gained among 55-64 year olds (up 22 percent) and among those age 65 and older (up 28 percent), most likely because of continued Internet adoption by these age segments.
Sound like teens might not only be favoring social networks and cell phones over e-mail simply because they're trendier forms of communication, but because they also don't bring a flood of e-mails from grandma. Of course, it'll be amusing to see what — if anything — changes now that older adults are gradually flocking to social networks as well.