Teens push e-mail aside for instant messaging

Dallas (TX) - Teenagers are turning away from e-mail as instant messaging becomes the primary means of cyber communication, according to a new study released by Parks Associates.

According to the survey, less than 20% of teens aged 13 - 17 use e-mail as the primary method of talking over the Internet with their friends. Instead, at least for 33% of the demographic, instant messaging takes over as the main means of communication among teenagers with Internet access.

In contrast, nearly 40% of adults aged 25 to 54 use e-mail primarily, and only 11% of them rely on instant messaging for their communication. Describing the generation gap, research director of Parks Associates John Barrett said, "Teens and young adults are increasingly accustomed to an always-on world where friends and family are instantly accessible."

However, Barrett says it's more of a matter of free time than it is age differential. "Once these individuals graduate and join the workforce, they may not have as much time to instant message," he said.