Has Texting Outgrown Email?
If you were to stop a stranger on the street, and ask “Do you prefer to text or email?” chances are they would answer “text.” Chances are they would also be halfway through updating their Facebook, Twitter or Google+ status to reflect their answer (lol). Based on the number of social media sites, and the fact that people can update their profiles from their smartphones as easy as a text, one would assume the younger crowd would rather text than email. I decided to create a survey asking a variety of questions about how people—whose ages ranged from 21-30—communicate and distribute them amongst various social media websites. The results I got were actually pretty surprising.
The Data Is Surprising
- Do you prefer text/email from work/school
- Do you prefer text/email from family/friends
Most people agree they like to receive emails from work (the professional aspect of their lives), while texting was reserved for family and friends. “I like texting for personal reasons and emailing for work, and I think those will always be separate.” (Age 21-25)
The question I was most interested in was also the most surprising. Over 56% of users find themselves using email more often rather than less often in the last year, which refutes my original hypothesis. Even more shocking, when asked “has texting taken over emailing,” 73% responded “No.” “Because in corporate America everyone communicates through email. Phones have not accurately mastered PDF, Word or Excel,” (Age 21-25) while some say “Yes.” “You receive a quicker response through texting, and by texting you get right to the point of your conversation.” (Age 21-25) So what does this mean for communication?
In a world where walking down the street means seeing hundreds of people with their faces down checking their smartphones, one would think they were texting. But when asked, “How many emails do you open per day?” 62% replied 11 to over 30. That is excluding immediately deleted SPAM and/or other accounts that are used for the sole purpose of signing up for things from which you can’t unsubscribe. “Texting has only text [sic] taken over emailing for personal relationships like family/friends and close co-workers… I think text messages are meant for immediate/urgent and personal use. Email is a more formal communication tool, and I do get a lot from companies on a daily basis because I opt to receive those messages, and I just scan whenever and delete.” (Age 30)
And the Survey Says . . . Email!
The results of the survey show a consensus that email is the preferred communication method for work-centered information, while text is reserved for more personal information/immediate response. “Emails can contain much more information. Text messages should only be used if the info is short and there is a time constraint.” (Age 21-25) After analyzing the survey and reading these responses, most agree text won’t take over email.
What are your thoughts?