A recent study carried out by the Pew Research Center (http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Cell-Phones-and-American-Adults.aspx) found that texting has permeated generational boundaries. Sure, adults still don’t text as much as kids do, but the numbers are climbing.
While this is interesting on many levels, the big question in terms of e-Discovery is what the enterprise is doing to adapt. Sure, teens are several years away from entering the workforce, but the enterprise has only been tip-toeing their way around mobile management. By the time these texting teens are ready for a job, will the enterprise look any different?
The study also raises questions about how these texting trends are influencing the way companies and organizations reach out to these demographics. If teens are abandoning Facebook and don’t use Twitter, how are companies getting their attention? If more adults start texting, it could mean that it’s in place of something else, like email?
From records management to communication to web publishing, is the enterprise prepared to operate from a mobile platform? And if so, how is this mobile information going to be collected and integrated into the traditional litigation discovery environment?
Of course, texting may not even be around in ten years (it didn’t exist ten years ago). But this is exactly our point: how does the enterprise and legal community plan to keep up with evolving trends and technologies?
As fun as it is to learn about behavioural trends, it’s even more important to be ready to change course as a result. New media and technology affords users new ways to access and exchange information with others. However, it also challenges the legal community to deal with these ever evolving forms of communication, or risk standing idly by and completely missing the mobile smoking gun.