The instant messaging ghost town


in Geek stuff, Internet matters

Between when my family first got internet access (I got my first taste at the Science Al!ve daycamp at SFU, using a primitive form of Netscape) and sometime between my M.Phil / working in Ottawa / starting my PhD, I spent thousands of hours talking with all sorts of friends over ICQ, MSN Messenger, and Google Talk.

Now, even though there are other options like WhatsApp and Skype, the instant messaging world seems essentially dead (or maybe all shifted to the dreaded Facebook). A whole host of people are always online, which I guess is because of being logged into email on some computer or having an account linked to a phone, but there is no real activity.

It’s probably impossible to disentangle the extent to which this is the result of people who I know growing up and no longer having time for instant messaging versus a general decline in IM use versus people shifting to platforms which I don’t use.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

AEL October 1, 2015 at 11:00 pm

I detest Facebook messenger, and dislike the Facebook platform more generally. I use text message a lot (preferable to voicemail). We use an IM service at work called Jabber, which is very handy for quick requests for which you don’t need an email chain.

BuddyRich October 4, 2015 at 8:12 am

ICQ. You are bringing back memories… I was just talking at work with an earlier 20s guy and he didn’t even know what ICQ was!

I find people don’t even email each other as much anymore.

Even Facebook is falling out with the younger set. Texting (inc. iMessage and Hangouts), WhatsApp, SnapChat, Instagram and Twitter seem to be the favourites of the younger crowd.

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