By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – It wasn’t all that long ago that email first came out and revolutionized the way many of us work, and stay in touch with friends. But could it now be headed to the same fate as the telegraph?

Tech savvy teenagers like Alex Huston think so. “Email is retro,” he says. “It’s like sending a letter through the Internet. So if you’re trying to uphold a conversation with someone through email, it’s a very slow process.”

Alex’s mother, a social media strategist agrees. She prefers new collaborative platforms for work projects. “There are so many new
apps out with so many different social platforms. I can totally picture a day when email becomes obsolete.”

Email isn’t dead yet, but new technologies are making its future a little murky. Productivity consultant Mark Hurst added, “Young people today have had unprecedented services beyond just email to communicate with each other. In business, people are using new tools to collaborate just beyond email.”

Software programs such as ‘Slack’ let employees keep track of projects through real time messages and archives.

‘Asana’ connects users to an open forum to follow each other’s tasks.

Information Technology Professor Gloria Mark said, “Already large companies have adopted these very broad social media platforms that employees are using. And it’s going to be adopted even more.”

Mark believes a good number of people could feel less stress in a world without jammed inboxes. “Our research shows over and over again that email, simply put, puts people in a bad mood.”

Hurst isn’t ready to write an obituary for email just yet however. “I like things like Google Docs and I think those things are going to increase as teams naturally need to collaborate more in digital spaces. On top of that, people are still going to have email inboxes that they need to manage.”

The next generation of workers appears ready to embrace whatever comes their way. “Let’s get going towards the future, and not hold onto hold systems,” said Alex Huston.


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