Instant Messaging… Formal?

Study: Instant Messaging is Surprisingly Formal 🙂

I find it interesting that a speech expert would take such a form of communication like Instant Messaging (IM) and study it. Then again, I suppose that you might say that by studying IM usage, you are in turn studying the mindset of those that use it.

I will not lie, I have been an affluent IM user since its early inception on America Online, using it since 1993. However, I suppose you could say that I typically type my messages in a more formal way than college students do. It’s not to be hip, it’s not to be cool, instead its primarily to keep my use of language in check with what it should be. I think it’s fine to use acronym abbrieviations, but I think that sometimes those that are younger, less articulate and aren’t very well read (not claiming to be well read by any means) might benefit from learning to write out complete sentences rather than using their “cutesy” abbrievations that are hip. Am I proscribing that we live in a “concrete” world, by no means as that would take away from creativity, but I suppose you could say that it’s somewhat annoying when someone in their mid 20’s, with a bachelors carries on conversations in slang :- Enough of my banter though…

The one thing in the article that caught my eye that I will definitely say that I relate to is as follows:

Guys used contractions 77 percent of the time, and their responses were often shorter than those of the women.

This is not to say there were no informal, speech-like aspects to the gals’ messages. For example, it took two women on average 41 seconds and nearly 10 exchanges to close a conversation. This is similar to the prolonged goodbyes that characterize face-to-face communication.

Men, perhaps not surprisingly, ended their IM sessions more than twice as quickly.

Some of my friends would definitely say that I suffer from “short response disease”, but what can I say? If I have something to say about it, most likely I’ll pipe up and let you know what I’m thinking, however most of the time I would say that I just have other things on the mind that I’m thinking about — my apologies for not putting forth the effort that perhaps I should in the conversation.

And the last thing that I found to be humorous was that apparently guys are pretty quick to leave IM conversations. This reminds me of the spoken language quite honestly, where we as guys talk but when we’re done, we typically aren’t “lovey dovey”. Mission accomplished, conversation over.

’nuff said…


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