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Instant Messenging and Social Media?

Started by Nightcrawler, November 19, 2012, 01:40:22 PM

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Does anyone still use instant messaging programs like ICQ, AOL, MSN etc? I ask because I read that Microsoft was (or already did) pull the plug on MSN. It got me thinking a bit about it. I think instant messaging was pretty much social networking for my generation, growing up as teens in the late 90's. I was all aboard that train. It was much faster than e-mail. However, these days, my once gigantic contact list consists of only a few people that ever log on anymore. Even I only log in here and there, mostly as a result that there is usually nobody on.

It would seem social media like Facebook and Twitter took over as a replacement, but I can't seem to understand how it is a better form of communication in any way. I wonder if e-mail is also dying?

Since we're on social media, perhaps it's becoming a generational thing, but I'm just not seeing the appeal.

Why does anyone use twitter? What does it have to offer? A 140 character limit? A limit that forces everyone to abbreviate and break sentences up, and talk like first graders? Makes no sense to me.

Facebook. I think I've figured that out. I think people use Facebook because the masses aren't knowledgeable enough to have their own web page or blog. Otherwise, why would anyone prefer the ugly unorganized mess that is Facebook?

The only other thing I can see about social media is you subscribe to people and places of interest so information comes to you rather than visiting web sites. Basically social media acts like a glorified RSS feed? That's the only reason I can think of why businesses, police departments, and municipalities would use. However, how it it any different than e-mailed newsletters other than that great 140 character limit or the responses that come from great Facebook users.

None of that stuff is for me. My ideas and thoughts are too big for 140 characters and I need organization to my posts. :P

Thoughts? - The central hub of the ROM hacking community.


I hop on aim all the time, but my contact list is 10 people total, and the imported list from my facebook page. I prefer the interface over messaging on facebook because I'm used to it, and have been using it for 13+ years.

It's exactly as you say, it was social media of my day, when I'd log into aim, or msn there would be 90+ people logged in at a time, and I know some people (particularly romhacking related) probably trumped that by a large margin. It all comes down to trends for the average person, MSN, AIM were trendy for casual internet goers, replaced by myspace, and facebook etc.

I use facebook predominantly to stay in contact with a few close friends, most everyone I talk to on a regular basis I know and could call, assuming I had their numbers, but it's easier to just get on their and type up something. I actually had a relatively intellectual discussion with someone I haven't seen in a long time the other day, and it kind of restored a bit of my faith in the site. (Just a tiny bit)

What's hilarious is that I see it as a giant forum with some added functions, and I see no real benefit to using it over using something like this place or RHDN, but I guess much like MSN, and AIM forums are so last decade.  ::)

ICQ I keep separate, because although I've never been a huge fan, it has a lot of uses that are still viable. Moreso than an aim chatroom ever did when getting a collection of people together, and the slight learning curve tends to lend itself to the computer literate.

Edit: Also I don't want to talk about twitter, I think it's the most foolish thing in the world, who the Hell wants a character limit? As if the internet didn't ruin the English language enough, now we have to deal with space so limited you couldn't type properly even if you wanted to? You've got a 15k character limit, and I still worry about running out of space.

I use facebook because a girl I liked help me set one up when I got to college, this was 05 and it was the hot new thing, I assumed it would be long dead by now. I will admit it's convenient for certain things, but the only reason I use it is because other people I want to talk to do as well.
Sleep is like cocaine, for the brain.


I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who doesn't get it and doesn't understand how there is any improvement over what we already have.

You make a good point on trends. For whatever reason, Facebook is more popular than any IM service ever was and thus since such high numbers of people use it, many others are then forced to also use it and that further feeds the fire. On the flip side, because it is a trend, I think it's going to end up just like the previous trends and eventually be phased out and replaced by something newer (and hopefully better!). MySpace was all the rage a few years ago, but I think that's been on the decline for quite some time now. Why didn't Google Plus take a dent out of any of that and catch on? Why did Twitter catch on? Questions like this cannot easily be answered.

One thing that also fuels current social media is business and entities started to hop on board. So, it has gone beyond simply person to person.

Personally, I think we need a utilitarian, bare bones, fast social media site. Cut out all the BS. Oh wait, wouldn't it then be a personal forum? I would imagine then nobody but a small niche group like us would use it.  :( - The central hub of the ROM hacking community.


Another good point, the fact that everyone and their grandma has jumped on the bandwagon just adds to it. Like I said when I started on facebook you had to (to the best of my knowledge) be a college student to have an account, obviously that changed, myspace all but died, and facebook and twitter exploded. Now you can't turn around without it being shoved in your face, websites are terrible for it, but the one that irks me the most, is in sports.

I know sports in general, particularly watching them isn't a huge pass time for most of the romhacking community, but I love sports, and watching sports talk, or stat shows. Sportscenter is literally littered with "twitter post responses, facebook polls etc" it's sickening. There are whole segments and shows dedicated to nothing but viewer responses from twitter, or polls done on facebook, and that shows website. Every time they show a sports anchors  name it's got their titter account underneath. It's truly nauseating to the point I've pretty much given up watching 75% of ESPN. Something that's been a mainstay in my life just as long as video games, music and movies have been.

As a person that doesn't care all that much about social media, all I want, or ever wanted from sportscenter and the like were expert opinions from former players, and people who know their sport, and stats. Some anchor comedy here and there maybe, but now every question has to have a poll, or twitter responses from a general public; whose opinion I don't only don't want, but also I don't care about. I'm watching a show about sports because I want expert opinion, not the general public's opinion.
Sleep is like cocaine, for the brain.


Why did text messaging on cellphones take off?
People really want to sit there tapping buttons when they could just CALL the person? :P


Perhaps texting is just nostalgia for writing a letter?  That said, I think twittering is more built for celebrities and the tabloids that cover them.
Winston Churchill in response to allying with the Soviet Union: If Hitler invaded Hell I would make at least a favorable reference to the devil in the House of Commons

Gideon Zhi

I'll admit that I don't really get facebook. I do like twitter, though.

Yeah, yeah, I know. But it's nice that you can pick who to follow, and don't necessarily have to reply to anything. You end up with a constant personalized flow of information, any and all of which you can reply to if you so choose, but don't have to. And it's gotten me networked up with some folks I might never have even had the opportunity to do so with otherwise because, unless you're talking some gigantic political figure or celebrity with a heavily-manufactured image, there's really no gatekeepers for contact.


Text messaging took off for some of the same reasons social media has. People seem to trend toward wanting impersonal methods of communication for short durations of time. Calling someone is usually a time investment, requires nearly all your attention, and requires you to speak directly to the person forcing you to use some common filtering.

Text messaging allows you to cook dinner, watch TV, and insult your friend with your true unfiltered thoughts all at the same time, typically causing massive miscommunications. I'm not really sure why that is preferred!

Gideon, that's a fine. But, twitter fouls that up badly as a solution for that. Why in the world do we need a ridiculous limit of 140 characters? That isn't even enough for a well thought out sentence or thought to communicate with said special folks! It pains me to read anything on twitter because it's so broken up, abbreviated, and coded into junk. Yeah, you've now got your personalized stream of information, but said information is given to you as a broken, unreadable mess!

Even ideal written communication is subject to problems as there is lack of tone and context. It just makes the problem so much worse when adding all these other dumb limits and problems into the mix. I am turning into a cranky adult that doesn't want to see the dumbing down of our world!

I can understand why young people don't care because I was a young uncaring person once too. Reading my written online communication from my teenage years makes me cringe and be embarrassed for that to be me. However, I got old enough to value articulation of thoughts and conveying intelligence into written works. When writing, the presentation of your writing is the only thing the other side has to judge you on. Obviously sometimes, personal convenience comes into the mix, but dumbing down should not be built into the system and forced! - The central hub of the ROM hacking community.


I think Skype is the future. I've used it for video chats, audio chats and IM. I also think the share your screen feature is really cool having seen it in action.

Social media only seems to be for the governments and agencies to spy on its citizens and for big business to infiltrate.


Although this is an old topic, I think it would be interesting to bring it up.

What's everyone's opinion on the revival of IMs on smart phones with apps like Line or Whatsapp?

Although personally, they're not as instant as real IMs on the PC. I've seen 40 minute message delays on Line (hello new years midnight haha). There are also issues with people quitting because their phone just kept on buzzing way too often.


I don't personally know of anyone who uses either of those. Plain vanilla text messaging seems to appease everyone I know without the need for any special apps like that. - The central hub of the ROM hacking community.


Line is quite hot in Taiwan. 17 million user base out of 23 million population definitely translates to very popular. [modified to correct wrong information]

For me, most vanilla text messages I receive are either promotions, missed call notifications, or verification codes of online services. I rarely receive these text messages from people I know.


That was the next question I was going to ask, but forgot. Is it regional? It appears it most certainly is. I don't think it's very popular in the US. - The central hub of the ROM hacking community.


Well, Line claims to have 330 million users worldwide. 17 million users in Taiwan.

Sorry I provided some wrong information about Line. It was originally developed in Japan (which is owned by a Korean company). They did open a sub company called Line Taiwan in, well, Taiwan (XD). I most likely got the wrong idea from their propaganda and did not do a proper background search before I posted.  I believe it is probably more popular among Asian communities. Also, their largest customer base are most likely located in Asia (Japan has about 50 million users).

Some better background information than what I provided: