Friday, November 20, 2009

Not BFFs Anymore?

Can this relationship (with Social Media) be saved?
I know I’m getting up there in years, pushing 40, so you crazy kids, with your hippity-hop music and your IMs and texting-while-driving are way ahead of me on the e-communication front, so you probably won’t get this: but I’m thinking about pulling the plug on personal email.

After a week without even thinking about my Yahoo! email, I finally checked in to see 200+ messages.

I clicked “Check All” for several screens, and then “Delete”, and I probably won’t think of it again for another week.

I don’t even remember my Gmail password, so don’t bother emailing me there.

I used to check my personal email several times every day, waiting for something interesting to turn up, as if I were a lonely puppy waiting for my owners to come home and feed me.

But now, not so much.

And I’m not the only one. According to a six-year analysis of internet activity by the Online Publishers Association (OPA). That study concluded that people are spending less time emailing in 2009 than in 2003. Overall, the study found that people are using the internet about seven hours more each month than in 2003, but they are emailing 41% less as a total share of their internet usage.

Consider the ol’ email marketing campaign kaput.

Sure, you blanket more user accounts now more than ever, but people are not opening those emails. We’re just not that into email anymore - except our work emails, of course. (Who said work was supposed to be sexy?)

And then along came MySpace and Facebook. Hot, hot, hot.

Social media sites now get used as much as internet shopping, no doubt in part because sites like Facebook have their own “email” and communications built right in. They have an “import contacts” feature that moves everyone in my dumpy old email address book right into their nubile system.

What would I need another email site for? If I absolutely need to contact someone out of social media network, I can just email them from my work account or *gasp* call them.

In Facebook, however, I’m rapidly losing interest in my friends’ “Mafia Wars” updates and “hug requests”. Maybe it’s because Facebook reveals what a frenetic and frivolous timewaster I am.

The lonely puppy is losing interest again.

But if I break up with Facebook, what will fill those 3 hours a month that the OPA study says I average on social media?

If only Linkedin had more apps…

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