Instant messaging is a phenomenon we couldn’t have even imagined fifteen years ago. The internet back then was embryonic to the average consumer, but you could at least get your head around the idea. Of course, we never could have imagined the scope of its impact (I mean – email!) and the robust speed at which it became so prevalent in our lives.
Instant messaging, to me, was the next step after the idea of email. The ability to instantly communicate with someone in real time, well, that’s kick ass, both from the personal/convienence side and from the business productivity side. Looking at the latter, it helps to understand that I am largely working at home, nowhere near any of the co-workers whom I need to be speaking with on a regular basis. So as you might imagine, IM is a central application in my professional life and it’s used constantly. We have a corporate IM client, but I just use Trillian, which I’ve spoken about before – and you should also be using for your IM. Now, if only Trillian would make a music player that played all formats! I digress.
IM for personal use, though, now that’s an interesting topic. My wife doesn’t use IM and has no desire whatsoever to start using it. At first I thought it strange. I mean, everyone uses it these days, right? I thought about how nice it would be to just drop her a line to remind her about something (it’s usually the other way around, BTW!), to see how her day was going or to find out where she put the stamps. Little stuff.
Then I began to realize that maybe it’s not a bad thing that she doesn’t use it. Why? Because when she gets home, that’s our time to catch up. Using IM, we probably wouldn’t have as much to talk about! I’m certainly not saying that my wife and I have little to discuss, but anyone married knows that sometimes there’s just not much going on to speak of. No updates. Not much happened today, etc. So I’m good with it. We’ll continue to communicate old school.