Josh's INET independent study, Spring 2006

My semester-long journal guiding all my readers through the independent study I am doing as part of the Internet Studies minor with Professor Hickey at Brandeis.

Location: Waltham, Massachusetts, United States

April 03, 2006

Predictions about IMs at Work in the Future

IM Transforming

This article discusses the main uses of IMing: the basics, the social aspect of it, using it at work, and the future potential of instant messenger programs (such as AIM). Similar to other articles I have posted on this blog, this one says that most workers have positive reactions regarding IMing at work, but there are those few who believe IM has a negative effect at the workplace when it comes to teamwork.

One aspect of this article that I found interesting is how it related the usage of IM in the workplace to the way college students (like myself) use IM. According to the article, 75% of college students use IM in general, for whatever reason. The author continues to go on to say that as current college students of this IM generation gradually enter the workforce, they will bring their instant messages with them, and IM use at work will drastically increase. One researcher noted, "I would expect that IM use will grow within the workplace. As younger users age and move into management and positions of greater responsibility, they'll take their tools and comforts with them, one of which is instant messaging."

Another interesting point brought up about IM at work is that tech support can greatly benefit from it. Support personnel may be more efficient if they use IM than if they used a telephone since they can help multiple people at once as opposed to working with one person at a time on the phone.

The article's prediction is that instant messenger programs will continue to impact our increasingly digital society in a positive way. The one drawback it mentions about IM is the security issues (I have mentioned them in previous posts). As IM services develop tighter security though, use of instant messaging at work is predicted to increase significantly.


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