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IM-ing your colleagues in the office

April 1, 2009

I refused to do it – install Yahoo Messenger like everyone did in my ex company’s office so that they didn’t have to walk over to each other’s desks to talk.

I mean seriously, is it so hard to take the elevator up two floors and walk a few steps?

We used to believe that exercise was good. We always complain that its so boring to sit in the cubicle. And then we install internet mesenger and sit all day.

My parents used to tell me that when we speak to people, we should make eye contact. Its a measure of attention and sincerity. Well, with IM there goes eye contact. We can also have conversations with 5 or 6 other people while making it look like we’re speaking to only one.

And people wonder why we’re growing more scatterbrained.

This is one of the few times when I think low tech or no tech is better than high tech. But maybe its just me. Try as I might, I fail to see the benefit of IM-ing or SMS-ing someone who’s just sitting in the next cubicle. Its not the technology that boggles my mind. Its the inanity of not wanting to get up, walk a few paces, prod you neighbor on the shoulder and say your piece in person.

There’s also a technology-related reason why I won’t discuss serious business over IM, even amongst colleagues in the office. Any conversation that involves money or making big decisions are p&c. Anything that can be transcripted can end up in the wrong hands. When I have to do these things, I go offline. Its just prudent business practice IMHO. I’m sure you’ve heard stories about people resigning, returning their notebooks which were passed down to others, who then stumble on a cache of p&c material in the chat logs and went to town with it.

But I’m not entirely antediluvian about instant messengers. Sure, use it to gossip or coordinate lunch outings with your colleagues or bitch about the boss. Knock yourself out. Just don’t forget Darwin, or what will happen to humans over a thousand years if we stopped using any part of our body, like our mouths.

Wait… on second thoughts, it might not be such a bad idea after all… 😀

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2009 10:20 am

    official stuff shld b communicated via emails for the black n white proof. 😀

    messengers, i normally use it to chat with other colleagues but if it’s something serious or work-related, i prefer to talk face to face. coz most of the time, you cannot communicate effectively in IM. you don wan to misunderstand the requirements or the instructions and end up in hot soup.

    I had the impression people liked IM because they can pretend to be busy typing away doing “work”. Just make sure you’ve installed the boss key though. 🙂

  2. April 1, 2009 10:36 am

    There are good and bad to IM. Since you already outline all the bad, the good will be that I can IM a person while I am in a conference to ask for answers. Secondly I can check whether the person is around for me to call him/her. Life without IM is kind of boring. ;P

    Good points. What I couldn’t figure out was why people have to IM knowing full well that their colleague is just a shout away…

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