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The young are abandoning email in favour of SMS mobile phone fun with their friends.

Use of email among 15-24 year-olds dropped a whopping nine per cent in the last quarter, the Consumer Internet Confidence Index, sponsored by Barclays Bank, claims.

"For young people the Internet may not be the be-all and end-all and it seems they are using text messaging instead of email," a Barclays rep says.

As a bank, Barclays knows all about the young, who not so very long ago boycotted the company (for refusing to withdraw from apartheid South Africa), even more assiduously than they are now rejecting email.

The UK population as a whole has seen emailers drop five per cent - but 87 per cent of Brit surfers continue to use email, according to the survey. It sounds barking to us - can you think of anyone who has ditched email after getting their first account?

Barclays reckons that it has the answer to why there has been a decline in email usage, as uncovered by this survey. Namely, punters are more confident in the Internet as a medium for entertainment, games and ecommerce (despite widespread reports about security breaches online). So we guess that means less time for email.

One per cent more people in the UK used the Internet in this quarter compared to last, Barclays say. This will not be good news to ISPs, who'll have to fight on little things such as service and reliability and trust, as there are no longer enough willing but unwary Net virgins to mug. ®

External links

Barclays' survey: 'Silver Surfers' on the increase as consumer confidence in the internet grows

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