Do College Students Read Their Email?

ImageAs it turns out, it wasn’t just me.  When my son was in college, and didn’t answer an email I sent, I would ask him why when we spoke by phone.  It was always something like, “Oh, I don’t use that address anymore,” or “I get so many emails, I don’t have time to read them all.”  The scariest reply was when he mentioned, “Oh, yeah, the Dean’s Office has been telling me I need to respond to university emails.”  Scary stuff.

It turns out, I was not alone.  Courtney Rubin’s article in the New York Times (“Technology and the College Generation, 9/27/13) describes college professors who list email as required reading in the syllabus for their courses.  College students seem to prefer the speed of social media posts and texting to opening email and scrolling through the inbox. A recent study at Purdue concluded that students spent an average of 123 minutes each day on the computer, with 6 minutes of that time per day on email, while spending 31 minutes on social media.

Not easy for a college professor to get each student’s Instagram, Facebook,Twitter, and/or Pintarest user name, as well as cell number for texts, to send all course updates to each student in each medium!

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