Someone asked me today if I use IM any more – the answer is a resounding NO. Make that NO WAY. I used to think that IM was useful for short conversations but have completely changed my view on it and dropped using it altogether about 18 months ago. Here are some of my reasons for jumping off the bandwagon:
- As the number of connected devices I use increases, it became harder to keep my ‘status’ up to date. At any given moment I have at least one laptop online (sometimes two), my office tower and a mobile device. With my IM client on each of these, 1) it always looked like I was online somewhere and 2) I seemed to be locked into some kind of display algorithm where conversations would apparently be randomly rotated from device to another.
- I like the phone. Like many people, I was using IM to replace just picking up the phone and having a quick conversation. For something that should be done by text, I prefer email (see below) and for a real conversation I prefer talking live. IM was the unhappy medium between the two which turned out to be unsatisfying for either.
- I don’t need yet another interruption. While I freely admit that I’m an easy target to interrupt, IM is a little too in my face.
- There are plenty of other ways to get my attention quickly. If I’m on IM, I’m on email. If I’m on IM, I can be reached directly through Twitter. Plus there’s always the phone, or Skype if you insist on something that has a little more technology appeal.