Changing Channels of Communication

E-mail is a communications tool which is rapidly growing in use. It is used not just between private individuals for personal communications, but it is also changing existing channels and creating new channels of communication. Groups which would seldom communicate using a particular medium are finding e-mail to be a convenient alternative to their previous styles, and groups which wouldn't communicate at all are opening up via e-mail.

The features of e-mail which are responsible for these new channels of communications include its speed of transmittal, its cheap cost, the convenience of its asynchronous nature, and its ecological correctness over paper mail. However, there are drawbacks to using e-mail as well: difficulty in sending emotional tone, bad manners/"flaming", hastily sent and poorly thought out messages, and the rising tide of junk e-mail. Despite these disadvantages, a large number of people feel the positive aspects of e-mail outweigh the negative.

The following articles expand on these ideas further and provide concrete examples of the ways in which e-mail is changing communications channels.

Further Reading

Last modified: 15 December 1999
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