Email Usage by Age

Recently several online studies have shown that e-mail usage is down among teens. The Huffington Post has reported that between December 2010 and December 2011, web-based e-mail use dropped by 31% for teens aged 12 – 17. Additionally, email use among those aged 18 – 24 dropped by a surprising 34%. Although this may seem to point to a paradigm shift towards text messages and social media, e-mail is still the most widely used communication tool out there. What these numbers reflect is not the end of e-mail’s reign as the “cool” way to socialize, but rather its turn towards becoming an absolutely integral part of the professional world.

Although teens may be using e-mail less, every year businesses of all sizes are relying on it more. In fact, the majority of the world’s e-mail currently comes from business accounts. As analyst Andrew Lipsman has explained to the New York Times, the recent shift in email usage demographics is not simply generational, but also situational; people use e-mail more while they’re at work. E-mail is more secure, easier to organize, and can perform a versatile range of functions tailored to fit a business’s unique needs. E-mail usage among work-aged adults is on the rise, and it’s projected that within four years the number of business e-mail accounts will top 150 billion.

So despite rumblings that e-mail is losing its grasp on the younger generation, the truth is that actually it’s evolving. E-mail is becoming something much more powerful than just a way for teenagers to chat. Keep in mind that most of the teenagers who are abandoning e-mail will eventually cast aside their t-shirts and jeans for business attire as they enter the workforce. And when they do e-mail will be there waiting for them, all grown up.