Monday, May 11, 2009

something I don't know

I have noted on numerous occasions, mostly to myself, that sometimes technology seems to expand faster than society's ability to keep up with it, a la texting. When exactly is it appropriate to text versus to call someone? Very brief messages or question requiring a one-word response, obviously, but there are some grey areas (like when/where do you want to meet) that are really just as likely to wind up being a twenty-text conversation (no bueno, for those of us without unlimited texting).
More recently for me, it's Google chat. Is it OK to be surfing the internet while chatting with someone? To read a webcomic? How undivided is your attention supposed to be? Suddenly I have two chats going on, one about relationships and the other about Feist. I am sure this is much less virgin territory for veteran AIMers, but I was never much into that, and I feel like chatting on Google is different (and a little less formal) anyway.
Damn you, ambiguous and evolving social norms!

1 comment:

rjamm said...

With texting, I would say text anything short that doesn't require an immediate response, or when you think you might disturb someone. Even something like "Where do we meet?" is fine to text, though if the answer is complicated, you might want to call instead of text back a response.
Also short varies depending on how snazzy your phone is (in other words, how easy it is to type).

As for g-chat, it's totally cool to split attention. People recognize that you're not there to chat with them and you may have other things going on. I mean, you're there to check your email, not chat. So if you have to read something else or look at an article, that's fine. I do it all the time. I also am occasionally left waiting by the other person, but it's easy to find something else to do since I have my computer at my disposal. For instance, I frequently have a game of hearts going if the person I'm chatting with is slow to respond.