Facebook Me!

“Email me!” That is a phrase I am beginning to hear less and less of.

“Facebook me!” Now that’s a phrase I’ve become quite familiar with. (Funny, as I wrote that my Microsoft Word accepted the “Email me” phrase, but found “Facebook me” as a grammatical error. Not for long!)

Are the days of emailing back and forth becoming a thing of the past? With social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it seems that personal email is fading into the background.

According to a Nielsen Report, social networking sites are visited by over two-thirds (67%) of the global online population. They have become the fourth most popular online category and are growing at a rate that’s twice as fast as the other four top internet categories (search, portals, PC software and email).

And with mobile phones such as the touch screen iPhone and Blackberry Storm, social networking has risen 156% in the US in the past year alone. It seems almost impossible not to be connected at all times these days.

It used to be that we had to wait to get home and check our email, weeding through the spam and insane amount of forwards from our friends and family telling us to “Send this email to everyone on your contact list in the next ten minutes or your boyfriend will break up with you!”

Now, all we have to do is turn on our “Crackberrys” (you know you’re addicted!) and go straight to our Facebook account, bypassing that Hotmail account that is soooo 2004! And with the option to send personal messages (as opposed to wall posts), they basically function as your own personal email. Also, Facebook actually lets you see which of your friends is online at the time, so you can instant message them directly from your Facebook account if you please. It’s the whole package!

With 1 out of every 11 minutes online spent on social networking sites, they are quickly becoming our main source of online communication. I know personally, the first site I always go to when I log on is Facebook. To be honest, I haven’t checked my personal email in about a week!

Of course when I make online purchases, I check my email to make sure the order was processed and to see when it has shipped. Also, when paying bills online, a personal email address is pretty necessary. But other than for online purchases and paying bills, I don’t really have a use for that old hotmail address.

66.8% of online users go to social networking or blog sites, while 65.1% visit personal email sites. Seems like a close call, but with social networking sites growing at a rapid rate, do you think they will soon replace personal email all together? With email being pretty much a necessity for professional and financial reasons, my guess is probably not. Other than Susan telling you to send her that spreadsheet, I wouldn’t expect to hear anyone tell you to email them anytime soon!