Will Gen Z be the end of email? 

While individuals in Generation Z — commonly defined as those born between 1997 and 2012 — are often hailed as digital natives, they are leading the charge in the potential abandonment of one of the universal staples in workplace technology: email. 

Email is one of the top work tools that individuals 30 years and older use; however, for people under 30 years old, Google Docs, Zoom and iMessage are most associated with collaboration, according to a 2020 Creative Strategies study, the New York Times reported July 10. 

Adam Simmons, 24, told the Times that he prefers to communicate using "literally anything but email" and that he communicates with the eight employees of his video production company and his clients over text, Instagram messages and Zoom calls. 

Mr. Simmons, whose clients primarily include sports teams, said the turning point for him switching from email was when a work email from the Seattle Mariners got lost in his spam folder.

"Part of the whole reason I don’t want to work for someone else is because I don’t want to constantly check my email and make sure my boss didn’t email me," he said. "That’s the most stressful thing."

Even older generations are starting to distance themselves from email. The technology's shortcomings have been exacerbated by the pandemic because it had to replace too much, according to the report. Decisions once made by stopping at a co-worker's desk turned into back-and-forth emails. Some workers have reported feeling guilty for not being able to reply faster or for adding emails to their colleagues' inboxes, while others have attributed email influxes to distractions that take away from important tasks, according to the report. 

"After the email is sent, I have to think hard about where I was and what I was doing," Vishakha Apte, 46, an architect, told the Times. "It’s the digital equivalent of walking into a room only to forget why you went there."

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