Sitting at breakfast this morning, my wife an I were discussing Facebook and email. My wife is a bit of a late technology adopter, not being really “into it” the way I am. She takes a while to get used to things and uses them if they’re in context with her and not just because they’re cool things (arguably a better approach than my “wow – whiz bang – let me at it” approach).
Anyway – we were both commenting on how a significant amount of communication that we do with friends, has recently moved from email to Facebook. Now smarter people than me have commented on this, and said that it is primarily a young person jumping onto the next big thing type shift rather than a real phase shift in the way people work but I tend to think otherwise. While email brought communication to an entire new level of people that one wouldn’t otherwise keep up communication with, so too does facebook bring communication to another level.
My wife’s take on this is that the visual aspect of Facebook is the differentiator – it’s a lot more “interactive” than a boring text email – but for me it’s about aggregation – the fact that a diverse mix of functions, only one of which is “email” are wrapped up in facebook is what makes me likely to communicate using it rather than more traditional electronic means.
What do others think? Is Facebook (or similar) replacing your email usage to any great extent?