Email is nearly fifty years old but still relevant amongst millennials

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
October 03, 2017, 5:00 PM GMT+0

A quarter of millennials check their email first upon waking up (25%)

Email may no longer be the newest or sexiest technology available but its continued use in casual and business communications is a testament to its steadfastness. YouGov Profiles reveals that a majority of Americans now opt for laptops (62%) and smartphones (77%) over email’s original platform – desktop computers (46%). The messaging technology has survived a better part of a half-century and perhaps, more importantly, persists past generational differences.

This last point is most poignant amongst millennials who own smartphones at a higher rate than any other generation (84%). Email continues to meet the needs of those who inherited the age of technology rather than learned to accept it.

YouGov Omnibus research shows that 27% of adults with a smartphone check their email first over text messages or Facebook when they wake up in the morning. Millennials are slightly more inclined to open their groggy eyes to text messages and Facebook (both 27%) but email is just two percentage points behind (25%). As for email behavior, more adults read their email on laptops and desktops (47%) followed closely by smartphones (42%). A majority of millennials, however, check their emails on their smartphones (62%) rather than laptops or desktops (28%).

When it comes to sending or replying to emails, the smartphone’s edge with millennials is slightly dulled with nearly the same amount saying they’re like to use their smartphones and laptops – 46% and 44% respectively. Nearly six in ten Americans say that they’d rather sit down with their laptops/desktops (59%) rather than their smartphones (30%) to send an email.

Another sign that email has managed to age so well with a younger generation of users is its casualness as a messaging platform. While 87% of the public agrees that it’s acceptable to include emojis, casual language, or jokes in personal email to family, most are inclined to disapprove of such usage in the workplace – except millennials. Over half of Americans disapprove of using casual language in a work email to a group of colleagues (56%) but millennials are divided over if it's acceptable (45%) or unacceptable (46%). When it comes to an office-wide email, a third of millennials think that it’s okay to be casual (35%) but a majority of them (55%) as well as most working adults (65%) think it’s better remain formal.

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