"E-mail has had a good run as king of communications," said Jessica E. Vascellaro in The Wall Street Journal. "But its reign is over." E-mail was suited for the way we used to use the Internet—logging on and off. But now we're always connected, whether we're at a desk or on a mobile phone, so a "new generation of services" such as Twitter and Facebook are taking over. As e-mail did, they'll "profoundly rewrite the way we communicate—in ways we can only begin to imagine."
People "might someday send résumés or other important documents over Facebook and Twitter," said Jason Chen in Gizmodo, "but e-mail is never going to be 'dead.'" For one thing, e-mail is as instant as any social network if you push it on your phone. And if people are still using fax machines —FAX MACHINES!—they certainly won't be abandoning e-mail any time in the foreseeable future.
E-mail definitely isn't "cutting it the way that it used to," said MG Siegler in TechCrunch. "It’s a sedentary beast in a fast-moving web." But even though we're not just logging on and off the Internet like we once did, nobody wants "always-on communication." That's why Google Wave's blend of active and passive communication could catch on—it let's you chat in real time, or "sit back and let messages come to you."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
Subscribe to the Week