How AOL Ruined Email
My kids grew up on AOL. It's where they first went online. It's where they learned how to dial up. It's where they learned how to surf the web. It's where they learned how to do email, instant messaging, download, build a homepage, etc, etc.
And it's where they learned to stop using email.
When you are ten years old, you don't get much email. Maybe a message or two per week. When you log in to check your email and you see this it's basically a non starter.
(that is my current AOL inbox but I assure you my kid's mailboxes look pretty much the same)
So they found other ways to communicate where the messages weren't surrounded by spam. Primarily that was/is instant messaging. Then came text messaging. And site messaging. Basically any messaging paradigm where the signal to noise ratio was at least one to one.
My kids check their email at best once a week. And it's a chore. Because its mostly an exercise in deleting spam. Email is for old farts. And they wonder why we use it.
And I blame AOL for that. Not that I think it's a big deal. They get by just fine with other messaging systems, maybe better than I do with email.
But I am sure that AOL is the reason they don't use email and never will.