Stuff I Found

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Use IMs to avoid embarrassment

Sure, instant messaging is fast and efficient. For many teenagers, it's also a great way to avoid those OMG moments -- that's "omigod" -- of mortifying face-to-face confrontations.

More than four in 10 teens, or 43 percent, who instant message use it for things they wouldn't say in person, according to an Associated Press-AOL poll released Thursday. Twenty-two percent use IMs to ask people out on dates or accept them, and 13 percent use them to break up.

"If they freak out or something, you don't see it," said Cassy Hobert, 17, a high school senior from Frenchburg, Kentucky, and avid IMer who has used it to arrange dates. "And if I freak out, they don't have to see it."

Joke telling can also be hard through IM because it can be hard to make your sarcasm apparent. I've accidentally insulted people through online communication because they take me seriously when I'm not trying to be.

Then again, it's more embarrassing to accidentally insult someone face-to-face because they just don't care for your brand of sarcasm... I suppose it's better to be anti-social in such cases.


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