The Negative Effects of Instant Messaging in the Workplace

681 Words3 Pages
As the tremendous evolution of technology has quickly changed people's lives, instant messaging (IM) today is considered as a set of communication technologies used for text-based communication between two or more people. Garrett and Danziger (2008) demonstrate that people who utilize IM at work are likely to be interrupted less than non users and concurrently use computers to do both work-related and personal communication more regularly than others. However, this essay argues negative impacts resulting in losing concentration from work, increasing the distance among people and devaluating social language used in real life.

According to Cameron and Webster (2005), IM allows users to see their friend lists which indicate that whether their friends are online, offline or busy. Furthermore, users could adjust their presence information, including automatically log in or log off their IM systems as well as control the amount of idle time. Due to its convenience, the population of IM users has increased significantly in recent years; however there are a great number of potential negative effects of IM that should be noticed at workplace.

To begin with, one of the worst demerits of IM is 'the tendency for IM messages to break one's concentration while focused on another task' (Cameron & Webster 2005, p.97). Most office buildings are commonly equipped with Wireless Internet and thus if there are incoming messages, it will be self-regulating to notify employees by a small led lights or a short ring which lead them to easily neglect their affairs. Although most people become aware that the inbox can be checked later, they cannot wait until break time because of their curiosities. According to Pew Internet and American Project (2008...

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Garrett, R & Danziger, J 2008, 'IM = Interruption Management? Instant Messaging and Disruption in the Workplace', Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, vol.13, issue1, pp. 23-42.

Madden, M 2008, 'Networked Workers: Most workers use the internet or email at their jobs, but they say these technologies are mixed blessing for them', Pew Internet & American Life Project, viewed 14 September 2011, .

Tyler, T 2002, 'Is the Internet changing social life? It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same', Journal of Social Issues, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 195-205.
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