Confessions of an Instant Messenger
In this context, Conor Boyland is arguing that using AIM, and Facebook has become an addiction to himself, and other teenagers alike. He states that communicating via the Internet is damaging social skills, wasting time, and even going so far as to becoming a drug to certain individuals, who can’t go a couple of hours without messaging on their phone, or the Internet. Throughout the passage, where he does not compel anyone, he does advise readers to take a break from Instant Messaging, and go out and enjoy themselves. Engage in sports, do something useful such as practice the “dying art” of physical conversation.
The English dictionary defines addiction as “the need for, and use of a habit-forming substance.” Where IM is not a substance, it is certainly a drug to some. Conor states that he cannot even go and take a shower without leaving an ‘away’ message on AIM. This is one example of addiction, where he can’t do a simple thing without dealing with his IM life, first. He, like many AIM users and Instant Messengers, has formed a habit, and he uses the term ‘addiction’ to imply the seriousness of his habit.
I was able to relate to some things in the article. For example, when I’m bored, I check out my friends’ profiles on Facebook, look at recent pictures, read their bio, and info (which I already know). I do not, however, feel the need to constantly put up ‘away’ messages and/or status updates on Facebook every 5-1o minutes, and I certainly do not add random users as ‘friends.’ What I have is more of an Internet addiction, which is light in nature.
Conclusively, while I believe Boyland’s article was a very interesting read, and many readers can relate to it, I don’t think it was very effective. I believe, and as per his statement “It’s one of those habits which you know is bad for you, yet you don’t care enough to stop doing it anyway.” Though this article made me laugh, and I could understand...
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