Thursday, August 03, 2006

IM Ruining Grammar?

This one is a bit off theme, but I couldn't resist. Apparently it has been found that the prolonged use of IM does not truly impair one's grammatical ability. Thank the University of Toronto for this piece of knowledge...

Are you serious? It's not grammar that gets hurt when IM is abused. It's one's social skills. The article I mention above is really talking about kids who get carried away, but living in a cube farm, I've seen the adult version as well. At some point, we've all been guilty of IM'ing someone close enough to hit with a paper airplane.

Between email, voicemail, wikis, and IM, not to mention remote work, just about everything is driving a wedge between developing the personal relationships that foster good working environments. When I've met someone in person I immediately feel more at ease trusting them for the role they will play in a project.

Body language plays a HUGE role in our ability to communicate effectively, and to dismiss it for the "efficiency" of electronic communication is naive at best. The next time you need to talk to someone, walk to the other side of the building, or schedule the time to drive to their site. You'll be glad you did, and they probably will too.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I agree that you can't replace the face-to-face communications. A lot is missed if we rely only upon IM to communicate. However, I do think it is an important communication tool in a business and can save precious time. I am guilty of IM'g someone I could hit with a paper airplane, but I'd like to explain my reasoning. I choose to IM someone one or two cubes over simply because I know that their time is precious as well as mine and often times walking over to the person means engaging them in some idle chitchat that eats time. I'm not opposed to this and I think it has it's place, I just choose to IM at the right time. We have a vast array of communication resources and we all have our preferences. Some prefer e-mail, some IM, some others all face-to-face. I think it comes down to how we work and how others work. We need to be concious of how others like to communicate and the timing of that communication (i.e. - big project deadline looming).

Thanks for the post. I noticed you geocache and live in Webster. Me too, on both accounts. I have two caches - Stand By Me and TrailBlaze located in Webster. Maybe we'll run into each other on the trails!