Since Thursday I have been away attending a conference of about 30 adults and I discovered some surprising facts. Two of the people in the group did not own computers. It wasn’t that they could not afford a computer, they just didn’t see a need to have one. The second thing I learned is that people in their 50’s and above generally do not use social networking sites like Twitter. They do use Facebook to stay in contact with family, friends and associates but don’t do much texting on Twitter.

So when I read this recent article from the WSJ I thought I would share the information with you:

Why wait for a response to an email when you get a quicker answer over instant messaging? Thanks to Facebook, some questions can be answered without asking them. You don’t need to ask a friend whether she has left work, if she has updated her public “status” on the site telling the world so. Email, stuck in the era of attachments, seems boring compared to services like Google Wave, currently in test phase, which allows users to share photos by dragging and dropping them from a desktop into a Wave, and to enter comments in near real time.

Little wonder that while email continues to grow, other types of communication services are growing far faster. In August 2009, 276.9 million people used email across the U.S., several European countries, Australia and Brazil, according to Nielsen Co., up 21% from 229.2 million in August 2008. But the number of users on social-networking and other community sites jumped 31% to 301.5 million people.

And than this:

But the speed and ease of communication cut both ways. While making communication more frequent, they can also make it less personal and intimate. Communicating is becoming so easy that the recipient knows how little time and thought was required of the sender. Yes, your half-dozen closest friends can read your vacation updates. But so can your 500 other “friends.” And if you know all these people are reading your updates, you might say a lot less than you would otherwise.

Social networking sites take some of the personal & intimate relationship aspect that can only be found by sending emails. Though the predictions of email dying off may come to pass, I believe it still holds a place for us on the Internet.

What do you think? Share your thoughts.

Comments welcome.

WSJ source.