November 29, 2004

New Forms of Online Communication Spell End of Email Era in Korea

The email era is coming to an end because replacement communication means such as Internet messengers, mini-homepages (dubbed "one-man media"), and SMS are wielding their power, reports Digital Chosunilbo.

"As a consequence, the stronghold of email, once the favorite of the Internet, is being shaken from its roots".

The ebbing of email is a phenomenon peculiar to Korea, an IT power. Leading the big change, unprecedented in the world, are our teens and those in their 20's. The perception that "email is an old and formal communication means" is rapidly spreading among them. "I use email when I send messages to elders," said a college student by the name of Park. For 22-year-old office worker Kim, "I use email only for receiving cellphone and credit card invoices."

A poll conducted by Chungbuk University computer education professor Lee Ok-hwa on over 2,000 middle, high school and college students in Gyeonggi and Chungcheong provinces in October revealed that more than two-thirds of the respondents said, "I rarely use or don't use e-mail at all."

"The new generation hate agonizing and waiting and tend to express their feelings immediately," said Professor Lee. "The decline of email is a natural outcome reflecting such characteristics of the new generation."

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