Saturday, December 17, 2011

IM Chats by Year

When I first got online at home, around 1999, I became an e-mail fanatic. Probably, about six months later or so, I discovered instant messaging, and that became a constant for many an evening for probably a year or so. But the IM usage dropped off precipitously once I moved here. There are likely multiple reasons for that: I have more friends here. I have less interest in trying to get dates online. Chatting online is no longer "new" to me, so its novelty has worn off. And finally, chatting online no longer seems as easy to accomplish as it once did.

By the latter, what I mean is that Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, MSN Messenger--these services all no longer seem as prolifically used as they once were. Many folks text rather than IM, or they IM straight from the phone, or they chat via a social network like Facebook, and since one of the main reasons I chatted was to meet new people and Facebook seems more structured around helping you stay in contact with people you already know, I'm not as motivated to chat on it (but see above also: there are a lot of things these days I'd rather do than chat online).

Nevertheless, I present what few statistics I have in this regard, which only takes into account chat from 2005 on, when I got this particular computer. The chat stats for 1999 to 2005, unfortunately, were lost in a crash. By 2005, chat in my life was already in decline; nevertheless, if you can imagine the trajectory shown here going backward, you'll probably see a pattern you could plot out to years before.

The blue line on top represents chats along with chat attempts (often people don't answer an opening line on IM); the red line on bottom represent actual chats. Where the blue disappears, all attemps to chat were successful.
The 2011 chat is the reason for my blog entry. I had a wonderful online chat one evening with a gal I'd e-mailed back and forth with a few times. But to note how my feelings about chat have changed, I really felt more like talking on the phone with her, but more than that, I felt like being out on an actual date. It was loneliness after the cancellation of a date with another gal that caused me to check into Facebook in the first place. A chat, as wonderful as it was, was a poor substitute.

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