Back when the net was in it’s growth stage, kids my age communicated by Aol. I remember this starting back in middle school when I’d scan the chat rooms for progz, warez, and gifs. The programs were hilarious because they’d make you feel like you were a real hacker. You could mail bomb people, phish passwords, or punt people off-line. I would suspect that most of these programs were all viruses and the people who used them were the real people getting tricked. I also remember you’d go to these gif chatrooms and people would tell you to press 1 to be added to the gif list. Once on the gif list they’d bombard you with hundreds of photos that would download one line at a time. You’d sit there and wait, first some hair, then some eyes, a face and you just wait till they get nakes. Honestly I didn’t even know what beating off was till high school so I’m not really sure what the real satisfaction was to looking at the pictures. Nevertheless, these were fun times.
Then there was the AIM phase. Dsl made it’s way on the scene and made the AOL interface prehistoric. People used Netscape or IE to search the web and AIM was still in it’s heyday. The conversations you had on AIM sometimes would last forever. It was much more convenient than talking on the phone and it gave you the ability to talk to a lot of different people. I didn’t get a cell phone to sophomore year of college. When I look back on that today I wonder how I really lived without it for so long. At this point, AIM has phased out of my life. I actually find it really convenient to type information but as I’ve gotten older AIM has started to feel childish. It reminds me of the days when I would get excited because I just im’d some girl and you anxiously await the reply. The typing point through AIM though will lead into this next paragraph.
I have a blackberry. I can’t explain why but the BBM is a really useful way of communicating. It has more of an appeal than text messaging. Generally when I think of a text, I think of one and done. When I have a bbm the conversation has more of an ongoing theme to it. The strange thing is I’m not nearly as proficient on my storm as I am on the keyboard. (http://www.typeonline.co.uk/typingspeed.php – I was 84 words a minute with 2 mistakes) The storm has me punching in keys and backspacing my mistakes, but there is a convenience of answering anytime I want because my phone is always on me. Plus I feel like it’s a connection with anyone who also has a bbm. I see my list of bbm contacts and I just think at any time I’m privileged to say “what’s up”. This has become a new, and growing, way of communication. People are constantly coming up with new ways of staying in touch. Why is so important? It doesn’t matter how much money you have at the end of your life, the most important aspect of your life is the relationships that you created and maintained. I welcome anyone who has a blackberry to add me because if you come to this blog by choice, chances are I like you. (My pin: 3097b7a7)
The final two ways of communicating will be around for a while. Talking on the phone and email. I’ve written about talking on the phone before. I actually don’t really mind it that much. My problem is though that I’m always looking for a purpose of a call. I don’t have this ability instilled in me to chit chat about any and everything. I want to get to the point and move on. This can make me sound like a prick but when I answer calls at work, there’s no how was your day and what’s going on. It’s what are you trying to sell me or what can I sell you. This sort of follows me to personal calls.
Emailing people has also become a preferred method by some for numerous reasons. It eliminates the phone conversation. Some people don’t like to be bothered talking on the phone and they just prefer the hiding behind the computer. I like email because it gives you a database of what has occurred. There is no forgetting what was written in an email because you can always go back and retrieve the data. I don’t know many people who write down every note from a phone conversation and then store it away so they can always come back to it. Also email lets you get points across quickly without having to debate everything. It also gives the person time to consider the situation without putting them on the spot. (I also want to note that the word ‘situation’ is taking over, I swear every time I hear this word I just ding it off in my head because I’m listening intently for it) Bottom line, using email and phone in conjunction is an effective way to communicate. They are important in the business world. If you aren’t checking your email constantly, you aren’t important (this can obviously be taking out of context). The blackberry is also an effective tool for making this happen.