Have I become an Instant Message junky?

computer mouseI can scarcely hold myself back. If I see someone online, I just have to start Instant Messaging them.

For someone who never clicked on that “chat” icon in his life before, I now find it my latest addiction on the web

Whether it is Facebook, GMail, Skype or, rather surprisingly, my Blackberry Storm, I cannot keep away from it. 

Have I become an Instant Message junky?

I hope not.

Social media is, in essence, about the conversation. If not, it is traditional broadcast media.

So it would seem a contradiction in terms to interact with “friends” on Facebook and NOT occasionally Instant Message them. It would be like looking at all their vacation shots but NEVER commenting on them.

It would seem rather snooty to give contacts access to your Skype account and NOT Instant Message them. Are you waiting for them to make the first move?

It would seem a waste of effort to upload a portrait of yourself to your GMail account and NOT Instant Message contacts, particularly since you can now video chat.

And, if you really do not want an interruption, click the “busy” icon on Skye and GMail

But key to Instant Messaging, like any other social media, is to follow a few rules.

  • If someone’s icon says they are offline, they probably are offline.
  • Don’t even think about that chat icon, if you do not have something to say (how often do you Tweet when you have nothing to say?).
  • Always give the other person time to type their response before you do.
  • Provide an exit route at the end of each subject. Better still, why not provide one at the end of each paragraph?
  • Just do it!

Photo credit: Rodrigo Senna

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About John Welsh

John Welsh has spent his entire working life in business-to-business media, first traditional publishing, having edited three magazines over 14 years, and, second, exhibitions since 2007. He started this blog on 22 June 2008 and ended it on 18 May 2010.
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