on using email in 2014 and beyond
Email may be old, but it's still the best way to get a message from A to B on the internet.
Popularity vs. Technology
Traditional email is a messaging technology while social media like Facebook and Twitter isn't. Those places are flavor-of-the-moment web sites that can at any time fall out of favor with the masses and become ghost towns. Just ask anyone that used to use MySpace or LiveJournal.
You can think of email the same way as SMS (text messaging) on a phone. SMS is a messaging technology, just like email. It is not owned exclusively by anyone. It does not rely on one central place just to work. It does not rely on popularity to remain in existence. Email shares all of those traits, and that's good.
Social media relies 100% on popularity just to exist. That's bad. Really bad.
It's not all about the web no matter how many say it is
Email (POP3/IMAP4,) SMS/MMS and IRC is the stuff we have available to us as far as widely used non-web-based messaging is concerned.
Everything else, meaning forums, comment areas and social media, is all web-based. Some believe that the future of all internet communications will be web-based, but I don't buy into that.
Internet communications that have survived the test of time thus far have been non-web-based, that being email/texting/chat. As for web-based communications stuff? It has no guarantee of any staying power. Web sites go up and down, and web browsers update too often and keep changing too much crap for anyone to keep up with it.
The web will survive, and of that I have no doubt, but as for it being a primary communications engine? That's where I have serious doubt.
Email/texting/chat can all be used with zero graphics, as in no binary data. All text, no images, no video. Text alone is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to electronically communicate. Web-based is about shoving as much crap at you as possible and calling it "innovative," when the plain fact of the matter is that animations and glittery graphics do nothing but get in the f--king way of the message you're trying to read.
I say it's "not all about the web" because the web is inherently graphical. What matters in internet communications most is the text, and the best text communications is the kind that absolutely does not require a web browser to use it.
Email is old, but it still works better than anything else
The old stuff is still the best stuff for internet messaging.
You might think that I'm pining for the days of how the internet used to be, and that if it's not old, it's not worth using.
I still use email because nothing has come along that's proven to be any better.
Take SMS, for example. That was developed in the early 1980s and the first SMS message was sent in 1992. Yes, really. And nobody complains that SMS is old, even though it's ancient in the way it works. Nothing has come along that's proven to be better than SMS for phone-to-phone messaging.
Similarly, nothing has come along that's proven to be better than email for computer-to-computer internet messaging.