For decades, email has been a primary communication tool in educational system. Every higher education institutions have an email system; and every college student has an “edu” email. Email seems like a must-have items that is required in education. However, due to the fast-pace development of technology, email is slowly fall apart and become an uninterested thing as one sophomore college student said “Email has never really been a fun thing to use. It’s always like ‘This is something you have to do.’ School is a boring thing. Email is a boring thing. It goes together” (NY Times). It is a true statement. As Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media website developed, email comes to its downfall very quickly, and creates many communication differences between professor and students. While professors mainly depend on email to communicate, many students do not even realize that they own a school email account. The inequity in communication between two main groups becomes an ongoing concern and problematic to educational leaders and professional people, which also leads to the question: Should educational communication system be updated to follow up with the modern technology?
The answer here is yes; universities and colleges have been tried hard to follow up with students’ demand, but they are not going anywhere. The problem here is that “education is unwilling to give up on email.” Many of the professors argue that email is the best way to let students practice their writing skills and be excellent in written communication. However, while younger generation is unwilling to use email, the force of writing a good email is not practical. And as usual, students try to avoid doing so by not sending email to ask professors questions even when they need it. If these problems keep occurring, as a result, it may lead to the downfall of the education system as a whole.
Spake Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder, said “we don’t think a modern messaging system is going to be e-mail” when his company release its messaging platform (Inside Higher Ed). His statement implies the fact that email will be outdated soon. (playing Domics’ video). There are many factors that lead to the end of email, but the major one is its structure. Just as Domics points out through his demonstration video, it can take students hours to write an email because they do not know what to start with. They do not know how to address their professors so that sounds like “an email” but still reveals their personalities. Plus, since college students (younger generation) get used to text language so much, they felt awkward to write real language. The “formal idea” of writing an email also creates pressure upon students. Some of them actually give up on writing professor email. Behind grade, email seems to be a biggest problem to college students. In fact, Mr. Jones, a professor at the University of North Caroline who helped to write the first code for the university’s first e-mail program, admits that he gives up on email in 2011. Now to him, “email is like sinkhole where knowledge goes to die” (NY Times). The second major that leads to the downward of email is visualization. According to communication textbook, email is among the lean communication media choices which have less visual and interaction with the audience (MGMT325 VCU textbook). Although visual can be a fun thing to do sometimes, email makes it boring because of its formal structure. One passage in email seems like a whole long essay that one has to read, since it is all about words, no space, no pictures or video. There is nothing fun in reading email alone. While educators try to make students think outside of the box, email limits that ability and tries to condense knowledge into a box and lets it die. It turns knowledge into a dwell flower with no life spirit. To a remote distance to the quote “Experts in any field rarely want people to understand what they do, and generally enjoy putting people down” (Computer Lib, Dream Machines), educators is not experts, they are interpreters, who explained and interpret the textbook language into sort of language that students can understand. The main purpose of teaching is to make students understand and enjoy the lessons. However, since email is unable to provide the enjoyment among students; there is no help in using email to explain the material to students. The third least but not last reason for outdated email is that students cannot freely express themselves through it although it is a communication tool. Being able to use email to show off self, students must be really good at writing; but unfortunately, not every student likes writing. Thus, all three major reason above is what contribute to the downfall of email system.