Social Question

Shippy's avatar

Is instant messaging ruining your life?

Asked by Shippy (9857 points ) January 9th, 2013

As I type, I can see my phone flashing in the corner of my eye. There are emails to be read, messages, from various types of message systems, texts and I can’t recall what else. Plus with some if I don’t reply quick enough I get a barrage of insults.

My cell phone is now on silent and has been for a while. Which made me miss a very important call recently.

What kinds of boundaries do you put up regards your phone? Is it switched off for a certain time? Or at a certain time. Do you enjoy the constant dialogue that cell phones can demand?

Personally mine will die by strangulation soon.

Although I will be honest if it is my purpose it is serving, it’s not so bad!!

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22 Answers

zensky's avatar

Nope. The opposite. Just text messages – no email. Fewer phone calls.

marinelife's avatar

I almost always ignore instant messaging.

I don’t answer my phone when I don’t want to.

I ignore email until I want to read it.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I now find that with text messages I have the noise turned off as it has got to the stage where my phone was sounding as if it had Tourettes and somebody was constantly beeping out all of the swear words. I then put the sound back on at night in case of anything important.

Shippy's avatar

@marinelife How does that work for you? Recently I got a text from a person saying

“YOU ARE NOT ANSWERING YOUR PHONE
THESE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET YOU
FOR DAYS????????????????????? PLEASE ANSWER YOUR PHONE? ”

(followed by squiggles and angry faces and a tongue)

It was off for an afternoon actually.

Pachy's avatar

IM’s not ruining my life because I avoid used it unless I feel I absolutely have to, which is almost never. It’s work email and spam that makes me crazy… ah, but not for much longer.

Seek's avatar

I find it terribly convenient when I need it and easy to ignore when I don’t.

Of course, I don’t pass out my mobile number to just anyone.

tom_g's avatar

It helps that I am old and don’t have that many friends, but here are a few suggestions I suppose:

1. Not sure what type of phone you have. If it’s Android, you should be using Google Voice. Make sure it’s set to place all calls through it. Tell everyone your new phone number and demand that they use it. You now have more control. For example, you could set up call screening for everyone – or just certain groups of people. You could decide what you want to happen when certain people call you (which phones to ring, which voicemail, etc).

2. When you announce your new phone number, remind people that it’s 2013 and phone calls are for awful people. Be up front and let them know your rules and expectations.

3. Re: text messaging – you’re paying extra so people who don’t have smart phones or computers can send fake emails to you? Drop the service, save yourself some money, and ask people to email.

Be clear about your contact preferences. Generally, if someone places a phone call to you, they are stating that they don’t really care what you are doing right now. They are going to determine where your attention and energy is at this moment – them. If someone emails you, they are at least saying that they respect you enough to acknowledge that you have a life and would like to manage where and when you would like to be when you choose to address or respond to them.

Regarding that person who yelled at you (with ALL CAPS) – this is not a problem with messaging, phones, or technology. This is complete madness and smacks of control freak shit. I would completely remove any person from my life who sent me a message like that. I’m dead serious.

I’m a technology and smartphone junkie. But it’s only a tool. If you allow it be a tool for people to engage in co-dependent creepiness or abuse you by ignoring the fact that you are an individual agent who may psychologically desire the ability to maintain some control over your life, you’ll probably start to feel oppressed by the technology.

Just some thoughts from an old person…

Shippy's avatar

@tom_g Thank you for this great answer. I really do appreciate it. I am also old by the way. I guess I added BBM and WhatsAPP because of my son. I really am not interested in anyone else. So unfortunately on WhatsAPP everyone who’s in your phone book can access you. I was horrified to see even deleted numbers showing there? Hell no.

I really like the email idea.

The person that wrote that to me, is my estate agent, who sold my house. If you can believe it. I get a few from her OFTEN TYPED LIKE THIS YOU KN OW!!!!!!~~~~~~????? So even if I deleted her, I would still receive texts.

I really have to sit and work out how to manage this. I am on blackberry simply because I really have no interest in phones.

I think phone etiquette all round, needs a tweak. Or Mind your Manners Mind your phone?

Coloma's avatar

Never use it. I did, a few years ago, now and then, but meh.
I’m a phone person, I want to TALK!
She who comes to talk is my Indian name lol

Trance24's avatar

Well I decided to become the old school type earlier than I would have expected, I am 22 and have refused to get a smart phone until they make it impossible for me not to. I have a nice standard phone with no internet, no apps, the most advanced thing is the scrabble game I downloaded. I find I am less distracted in life when my social network is in front of me and not on my phone.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I only text about 3–4 people on a regular basis, I get calls from the same amount of people, and I don’t receive emails from friends or family. I rarely ever have a large number of messages to respond to at once. I keep my group of friends relatively small partly for that reason.

I do have Facebook synced to my phone, but I don’t get alerts like text messages. Instead, I have to go into the app to check it at my convenience.

I never receive insults for not responding to messages quickly. What kind if friends do that?

tups's avatar

Sometimes I wish I lived in a time where the only thin that was, was mail – and I don’t mean email. I think the internet, the phones, the neverending social media is making a lot of people stressed, including myself. Sometimes I just want to be where I am physically mentally, if you understand.
But one must live in their own time.

GloriaEstefan's avatar

The beauty of text messaging is that you never have to repeat yourself. I despise talking on the phone because the person on the other line can be doing something else as you’re talking to them, so they are only half listening, which leads to them asking you to repeat yourself. I’ll often hang up on someone I know if they’re not listening properly.

mazingerz88's avatar

Wait what…instant massage? Hardly. : )

Shippy's avatar

@livelaughlove21 We are a very aggressive bunch here loll. But that was my estate agent, who sold my home, not a friend. And no, before you ask, was already sold. But yes, friends would do that.

burntbonez's avatar

I am not a big texter. I also don’t get a lot of calls. I don’t mind talking on the phone. I just don’t do it very much, I don’t think.

Mariah's avatar

I was late to the cell phone game (for somebody my age). I didn’t get one till just before I left for college. This was voluntary. I hated the idea of being available all the time. I like to drop off the planet sometimes and get lost in my own little world. I hate feeling obligated to people.

Now I am quite dependent on my phone. My college is unusual in that I cannot access dorms except the one I live in. Very few of my friends live in the same dorm as me, so if I want to see them, I have to send a text and ask them to let me in. I do not have a landline in my dorm and am dependent upon my cell to communicate with my doctor.

It goes beyond that, though, and I’m ashamed of it and am working on fixing it. I’m a little addicted to my phone. I have internet access on it. If I’m bored during lecture, I don’t always have the willpower not to whip my phone out and begin surfing the web. My attention span isn’t what it used to be. I have trouble ignoring needy friends if they text me and I don’t feel like having a conversation. So, in a way, I’ve fallen into the exact trap I was trying to avoid by not having a phone in high school.

I’ve been spending time away from my phone lately to try and break these bad habits.

Bellatrix's avatar

With the exception of work email – I am pretty hard to reach. My mobile phone is pretty much ignored outside of work hours. My kids know to call my home phone. I barely use instant messaging. I use it to speak to Auggie and for one or two people at work occasionally. I no longer have messengers. I don’t have my email going through to my phone either.

You can be as available or unavailable as you want to be. I am going to try to only deal with email after 4pm when I go back to work. Life will not end if I don’t answer things first thing in the morning each day but I will be under much less stress.

hearkat's avatar

I don’t use instant messaging apps on the computer. Friends and family send texts, but not lengthy conversations, for the most part. I’ve disabled nearly all pop-up notifications on my iPhone and iPad, as I am highly distractible. I like the new iOS feature called Do Not Disturb… I have it set automatically from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. and I activate it manually when I am at work or driving.

wundayatta's avatar

Naw. Instant messaging is not ruining my life. I don’t get many messages. Only one person texts me regularly, and a few others on an occasional basis. I can deal.

Paradox25's avatar

I usually keep my iphone with me, but I only use it on occasion or for general phone calls or texts. I wouldn’t even use it to fluther. I deliberately keep a low key profile in life so I rarely have those types of problems mentioned above. I’ve learnt the hard way from the past not to give too many people my contact information, and I’m very selective who I give that to these days.

jca's avatar

I only used to have a regular cell phone, and then was given a smart phone by my current employer. I hesitated to use it for anything other than phone calls, because I did not want to get addicted. Then I started using the camera, and found that to be very convenient with uploading photos to Facebook. Then I started texting, and now text very little, only to certain people. I find texting way more convenient than phone calls and more convenient than having to log onto the computer if I want to say something quick. If I want to type out a whole story, though, the computer keyboard can’t be beat, IMHO. As far as ignoring messages, I am somewhat impulsive and compulsive so I usually answer asap.

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