IMing as Therapy

Posted on March 6, 2007. Filed under: IMing, Musings |

So we all do it, some more than others.

IMing at work.

In some offices, it’s grounds for firing. In others, it’s a slap on the wrist or ignored as long as you get your work done. In cases like mine, I have to be on whether I want to or not. Job stuff comes to me from all angles: as face to face chats, emails, calls, and more often than not – IMs.

So like many of my digital tribe, I am on AIM all day (or meebo, if I remember), and find myself having several convos at once through out the day. One chat window is with an editor – a continuous convo about a particular story. Another is with Alex & Jane – convos related to updating the myspace page. Other windows are with the news digital team about various projects — all different convos, all happening through out the day, often at the same time.

So it’s no surprise that in my chat screen (along with many folks) I have a few additional windows open for personal/non work reasons. Keeps me sane.

Maybe it’s my Little Sister – she’s home from school and bored. An easy way to keep in touch. Sometimes it’s my roommate – checking in with bill questions, updating me on her life, or telling me something funny. Often it’s my creative partner, who is also at her job, and we’ll go back and forth about ideas all day. Maybe a portion of the convo will be continuous, but sometimes she’ll IM me something and I won’t get back to her for hours. It’s fine, it’s how it works in the IM world.

It’s funny the sort of things we tolerate in IMs that we won’t offline. For example, right now as I write this blog my creative partner is IMing me about her experiences as a film extra. I click back in the chat window from time to time to see what she’s writing, but I’m only half paying attention. I will respond to her in a minute or so, and she won’t know the difference. Even if she did, she wouldn’t care.

But if we were in person, this sort of behavior wouldn’t and shouldn’t be acceptable.

To my dismay however, I am finding a lot of online behavior/etiquette seeping into the fabric of offline society…

Examples?

* Carrying on texting convos in movie theaters. Why is talking in a movie frowned upon but not texting?. I hate this. I can’t stand your little clickity clicks, blips, and buzzes. I would rather hear you talk. Then I’m the weird one for telling you to stop texting?! Me?! Why Me?! Am I taking crazy pills or something?!!!!

But to be clear, I feel that it’s absolutely fine to use your cell phone/texting as an excuse to ignore people on the subway. Why is that fine? I am already jealous that your texts work underground, number 1. Number 2, I don’t want to look at you anyway. So yes. Look down. Check your texts. Busy your self, and I will busy my self as well – pretending I care what the billboards above your head say. Any excuse to avoid all human contact in the fetid tin can that is whipping us all around dark corners for over an hour.

Time to head home and drink mucho bloody marys with roommate. Been one of those days.

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