The IM Divide

Many2Many offers this intriguing hypothesis summary:
  • The divide is due to a recognition of IM as a presence tool vs. just seeing it as a communication tool.
  • The just-came-to-chat folks assert a power differential between peers by demanding that the always-on’rs pay attention to them when they appear.
  • IM exacerbates power-differentials by implying that there is equality in participants, as though it is an equalizing context.
There is a cultural divide between different groups of users of IM, namely the always-on’rs and the just-came-to-chat folks.

This is brought to you in synopsis of a brain candy rant on apophenia.

Interesting. Today attempted a discussion about privacy issues with my eCommerce class. In the course of things, I asked if they had any privacy concerns about their IM away messages. After they finished staring at me like I had just sprouted a third head, someone ventured, "well, you know it's public. besides, only my buddies see it." Hmm ...

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