College students should take an interest in email

This article on Technology and the College Generation from the New York Times didn’t surprise me. I have two teenagers and I use other forms for digital and social media to communicate. I can see the preferences towards texting and Twitter.

But I couldn’t help but think about how the business world uses email as a primary communication medium. I think it’s in the best interest of students to use email while in college as a way to prepare them for what they will see every day with an employer.

Email is a challenge to manage for many people. The challenges include:

  • Managing the volume of messages and time management
  • Writing effective messages that are clear and concise
  • Practicing common courtesy

But we must all learn and develop skills to battle these challenges.

Email is slower only by choice of usage patterns. The speed at which we can read a message is only as fast as the frequency at which we check our inbox. It’s no different than checking a Twitter or Facebook stream.

I would argue that email is a more effective communication method because the message is delivered directly to a personal inbox. It’s not in a global stream of messages like some social media sites. That only increases the chance a message will be missed.

Don’t be afraid to require email. Write on.