Why I Gave Up On Instant Messaging


If you’re one of the few people that grace my Adium contact list pretending to be away, you should have observed it so far: I gave up on IM. I just had to.

It wasn’t that hard, I just stopped using this means of communication. Nowadays, I mainly use Twitter and e-mail to get in touch with people, the former more so than the latter. OK, I do use IM, but just for intranet purposes at work, using our homemade Pathfinder Instant Messenger. And that’s about it.

Why, I can hear you ask. I’ll tell you why. Because it’s so damn time-consuming I couldn’t do anything with Adium in the background anymore. It was the feeling that I cheated on people and made them feel bad when I wasn’t promptly replying to their messages. That’s why I found Twitter so liberating: noone expects you to be there and reply to every given moment. Well, noone should anyway.

So at first was productivity. I found myself more productive and efficient while at home. I wrote more, designed more and learned more. I learned to manage Twitter distractions and incorporate it in my workflow without serious drawbacks. And everything was fine for a while.

But I lacked something, and that was real-time human communication. And for that, I decided to take my Friday (traditionally at home) nights on IM. Just to keep in touch with friends and add to the overall relaxing feeling. Some light gossip, some link exchanging and that’s it. You give a little but you gain a sense of social satisfaction.

So I was wondering, am I the only one that declared IM bankruptcy? Surely there are more of you that just stopped using it at some point.

Do you still keep tabs on IM friends by logging in every once in a while? Or you just use Twitter and Facebook to communicate with people?

Do share your opinions in the comments.

Subscribe to my management & leadership newsletter
Quick Tip: Centered Fake Floats
Introducing: Compact Multi-line CSS!