I’ve never been able to get into instant messaging. I’ve tried it. I’ve even probably had ten or twelve instant messaging “chats” over the past ten years or so. It just doesn’t appeal to me.
At my last job, almost everyone in the department was on instant messaging. I boycotted. I just didn’t see the point. And no one could say anything about it, either, since I got back to people’s emails within minutes, if not seconds, of their being sent.
For office communications, I prefer emails, because there’s less “How are you doing?” fluff. It gets down to business. It’s also easier for me to look through when I’m trying to figure out what we talked about. That’s how I stay organized—through my email. If I want to know what Staples order I asked you to put through for me last year, I look in my sent emails. If I want to know what the agenda was for our meeting in March, I look in my inbox. If I want to make sure a document doesn’t get lost in the shuffle, I send it as an attachment in an email. There’s no way in hell I’m going to sift through instant messaging chat logs.
And for personal life, I also prefer email, or the phone. I really don’t get the instant messaging for friends and acquaintances. If I don’t want to have an extended conversation but just want to ask a couple of questions, I’ll shoot off an email and get a response from you. If I want to talk to you for a long time, I’m going to pick up the phone and call you.
Obviously, I’m in the minority. Almost everyone I know between the ages of 20 and 35 instant messages. I just don’t dig the IM. Email me. Call me. Talk to me in person. I’m not going to chat with you, though. I’ll instant email you. How’s that?