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IM is so yesterday!

Mar - 9 - 2008
Nicole C. Engard

I was talking to my sister the other day and I asked her if she was on IM during the day. She replied with “IM is so yesterday!” I was a bit taken aback and thought – how can that be? I asked her “Okay, what is today then?” She answered “I don’t know – text messaging?”

I use it all day every day to keep in touch with my colleagues and even my other sister. But then I thought about it. My other sister isn’t actually on IM she’s on her cell phone and I’m sending her IMs that way. Also – after watching TV commercials during the news this AM I realized that many services are offering text messaging services.

So my question is what service is the right one? Should we stop pushing IM services and skip right to text messaging (SMS) services? Nikki at Jenkins Law Library writes that she was happy with an IM service offered by a book publisher, but my sister (who is not much younger than I am) is telling me that IM is “so yesterday”…

I don’t really have an answer, I’m just wondering what some of you in public or academic libraries have experienced with your younger audiences … actually … what are we experiencing with all of our patrons? I know that my mother prefers IM to text messaging, but that doesn’t stop her from using either service. What have you experienced?

[update] I should mention here that I prefer IM over text because I do not have a keyboard on my phone … also I don’t pay my provider the fees for unlimited texting so each message costs me $.10 … making it less appealing than IM. [/update]

4 Responses so far.

  1. Cheryl says:

    Well, as always, here is a “mother’s” point of view. Coming from the “dark ages”, I remain baffled that an instrument that was designed to be used to keep us VERBALLY in touch with each other (and from what I remember) in emergency situations, has become a vehicle to keep us occupied when we are bored. I recall my children insisting that I must get a cell phone so that I can communicate with my loved ones if and when I am in “dire” need and cannot get to a regular phone. No where, at that time, was it explained that I would need to drive and type, or be at work and type to whomever may be just as bored as me. That was to be experienced with a computer. I do understand that we may not always be in touch as easily with our computers as we are with our cell phones, but my biggest question is, and will always remain, WHY NOT JUST CALL??? IM to the “old” folks is a vehicle in which we exercise our fingers; a cell phone was designed to exercise our vocal chords…..

  2. elle says:

    “IM is so yesterday.” Yep, I’ve been hearing much of the same from many of the students on campus. My kids, the youngest of whom is 19, seem to prefer texting. I also find texting is far more convenient since I don’t have to worry about wifi issues. Even though I take my macbook everywhere I go, whipping out the old phone seems easier. I have my camera, gps, etc. all at my beck and call. Quality is always an issue of course, but you can’t have everything…. unless you have an Iphone, that is! Which is my world, is a purchase that has taken a back seat to home repairs, helping kids pay student loans, etc!!!!

    E. Parker

  3. I am baffled by the texting phenomenon. I have done a lot of searching, and can’t find a data plan for less than about $65/ month (including taxes) that will let me text to my hearts content. And at .10 a text, I refuse to use texting on the phone.

    $65 a month is a LOT of money. At least to me. I suppose it gets cheaper with family plans and such, but I am awed that just about everyone in the younger generation can afford it. I guess it comes down to priorities- I just can’t put constant contact that high on my financial “needs” list.


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