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Instant Messaging turns E-Mail into Snail Mail

The term SnailMail didn't exist until e-mail became so prevalent that there was a requirement to differentiate the two. Obviously, the term was invented by e-mail aficionados as a small barb directed at the relative slowness of physical transportation.

And now, Email is Old School. According to a new AOL survey, the instant message appears to be catching up to e-mail as the favored way to communicate using the Internet.

Of the 4,000 people interviewed by America Online, a quarter of them preferred IM, the electronic messages that appear unprompted on a computer screen, over using e-mail. Some 15 percent America Online surveyed in 2004 favored IM.

In addition, an increasing number of people rely on mobile instant messaging, which points to the fact that people are looking to go online beyond using it only on the desktop.