Monday, January 26, 2009

Why We Spend Hours on MSN Chatting

As they watch impatiently as their children are overwhelmed by a flood of instant messages and respond to each one of them with a slight smile on their face, parents wonder, "Why the hell can't they just talk on the phone?" Well, that's when the psychology kicks in; adolescent minds work very differently from those of adults. Here's the chatting phenomenon explained:

6. People feel under pressure to say something constantly on the phone but can do other things on the computer

The fact is that people don't feel uncomfortable not saying anything for half an hour while in a chat because they know that their fellow chatter is aware that they are doing something else. On the other hand, not saying something for more than five seconds counts as an awkward silence and with the number of awkward things these days, who needs another.

5. We're usually on the computer anyway

Hey, it's true. This generation is starting to use the computer more and more as it becomes more and more "useful". So I guess we're just getting so lazy that we can't walk a few steps to pick up a phone; instead, we just want to sit in our chairs, typing and staring, typing and staring.

4. People feel more comfortable expressing themselves with IMs than with long speeches

Maybe long speeches were trendy back in the 80s but they definitely aren't now. Plus, some feel like they're revealing more when they're talking face to face or even just on the phone but they feel more secure hiding behind their trusty e-wall.

3. Most are more fluent in writing than talking

When you speak, you can pause for a minute thinking of how to word something; you just have to go ahead and unless you're a really good talker, you'll get mixed up with what you're trying to say. On the other hand, on the computer, you can take your own sweet time thinking of something to say and then how to say it.

2. You can mask your true personality and reactions with simple cyber-surgery

Thoughts can quickly be translated to speech so a conversation can quickly turn sour if you can't hide your emotions. However, in a chat, you don't see thoughts or hear words, you watch letters slowly appear on the screen. And who says these letters have to be truly showing what you think; in fact, you can be a whole different person online.

1. Because everyone else does

What's popular is what's popular and people can't resist following the trends. Almost everone has an Windows Messenger account and if you don't, you're pretty much seen as an outsider. To add to that, if you're not on every hour of every day, you're seen as an outsider too.

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