Email is one of the oldest and most iconic initial components of what the world came to know as the Internet. While email is believed to have been around in one form or another since around 1965, when multiple users of a time-sharing mainframe computer needed an easy way to communicate, there is no question that it has exploded in more recent history as users in homes across the world dialed in to what is now considered the largest single mass of information in existence.
As social networks and other methods of keeping in contact with people are being created, the question comes to mind as to whether or not email may actually become obsolete in the near future. For me, email remains one of my primary methods of communication. It would take something extremely innovative and absolutely universal to make email obsolete.
Email addresses, as they are currently evolving in integration with newer communication platforms, could be more likely to replace your phone number than go the way of the dinosaur. Think about it, what’s the one identifier most social sites use to identify you? You log in to Facebook with your email address, password resets on almost every site out there requires email, and updates regarding various online accounts are generally forwarded to your inbox as a primary means of notification.
So, what would it take to topple this massive mode of communication? It would take something incredibly universal that every man, woman, and child in the world would have immediate access to which is not tied to any single corporation, government entity, or interest group. It would have to be absolutely rock solid in how it functions, from host to client. Email, in its present form, is still unmatched in this regard. If Facebook went away tomorrow, you wouldn’t be able to transfer your account to another service of your choice and still maintain all the contacts and connections you presently have. With email, one bad provider can be swapped out for a new choice in a matter of hours.