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Downsides to Intrafamily IM?

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the /away dept.

The Internet 514

Frisky070802 writes "The NY Times has run a column on how many families now use instant messaging within a household, for instance to ask what someone wants for dinner. This is especially popular as whole houses get wired (or wireless) and computers are scattered throughout the house. This is the case at my house but I tend to be the only one who stays on AIM reliably. Can Slashdotters offer some personal experience, pro/con, with being instantly and constantly accessible to one's spouse and children? Does this tend to break down your 'personal time'?"

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Non-Indentured Servitude link (1, Informative)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867900)

click here for google link [nytimes.com]

Why can't people just do this by default? It took me 2 seconds to find...

Re:Non-Indentured Servitude link (-1, Troll)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867921)

Karma-karma-karma-karma-karma-karmaaaaawhooooore.

Re:Non-Indentured Servitude link (1, Redundant)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867956)

I'm sorry. Did I say that out loud?
But seriously, what is it with mods always modding the top lines way up like that?

Re:Non-Indentured Servitude link (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868086)

That's hilarious! I was 2nd post and got redundant. It's gonna be another one of those days where all mods are on crack isn't it?

way to whore it up (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867938)

Why can't slashdot use the google partner link? Oh, I don't know, maybe because slashdot is not google?

KARMA WHORE (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867952)

Why can't people post this crap AC?

Why can't people just do this by default? It took me 2 seconds Yeah, and it took me a similar time to register with NYTimes, we are using their service for free after all. And now I have a registration I can log into their website automatically without having to read through comments or looking at google, which saves me even more time

FREAK

HERRING STALL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867991)

_.---._ /\\
./' "--`\// YOU HAVEN'T LIVED UNTIL YOU'VE
./ o \ SUCKED A COCK IN A HERRING STALL
././\ )______ \__ \
/./ / /\ \ | \ \ \ \ YOU HEARD ME
./ / / \ \ | |\ \ \7
" " " " FUCKING LOOK IT UP

Re:Non-Indentured Servitude link (3, Insightful)

Frisky070802 (591229) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868105)

Why can't people just do this by default?

I didn't refer to the google cache of the article because the google cache isn't intended to bypass site registration policies.

Why can't people register, for free, without complaining?

fp 2k4 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867905)

because fp2k3 are soooo... 2003 !
(ADOLF HITROLL)

I don't care (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867906)

so no I can't offer any advice.

this is stupid (5, Funny)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867909)

What ever happened to just screaming/yelling down a hallway?

Re:this is stupid (4, Interesting)

fleener (140714) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867926)

Why talk to people when you can type to them? There are so many things that trouble me about a family that communicates by IM that I don't know where to begin. So I won't. I think I'll go find someplace to cry.

Re:this is stupid (-1, Flamebait)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868008)

Yeah where have our good christian slavery values gone? Must...colonize....heathens....

Fuck off twat.

Tom

Re:this is stupid (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868026)

Have you considered families that live in houses that are so big, you would have to choose between either not communicating at all, or using IM? Or one family member is upstairs, and the other is downstairs? Yeah, there are those intercom things, or you can use a phone (maybe an internal PBX), but IM is great when you already have the infrastructure. I would throw Voice-over-IP into the mix personally.

Also, it is cool to IM between roommates/family because you can send links or copy and paste, etc. Its easier to help someone with their computer using IM, then with verbal communication.

Considering how much time people spend in front of the computer, this is a good thing because it allows them to communicate even if they are glued to the PC.

Re:this is stupid (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868106)

What the PHUCK! Is this what the world is coming to, you have to communicate with your family IN THE HOUSE ON A COMPUTER. holyshitmeupthearse, I live in a large house, 2000 square feet per floor. If dinner is being made I go and ask, I get up of my fat arse and talk to my family. FAT, STUPID, EMOTIONALLY AND SOCIALLY RETARDED AMERICA, NO FLUCKING WONDER BUSH WON. IIIIDIIIOTS!

Re:this is stupid (1, Troll)

gears5665 (699068) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867935)

is that really the kind of home you want to live in?

Re:this is stupid (2, Insightful)

elmegil (12001) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868022)

Exactly. Using ICQ when I'm upstairs and my wife's downstairs is way better than shouting up/down the stairs. Especially when the baby's sleeping.

Re:this is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867940)

It's the businessmodel! You are not "getting" it.

1: Make free software.
2: ?
3: Scream when you want dinner.
4: Profit!

Re:this is stupid (1)

UserGoogol (623581) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868006)

Typing is inherently better than speaking. ^_^ Plus, if you live in a decently sized house, (two floors with a basement, lets say) there's not always a hallway for you to yell down. Also, people on computers have a tendency to wear headphones. I'm wearing headphones right now.

Ahhh older technology.... (5, Funny)

twoslice (457793) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868041)

What ever happened to just screaming/yelling down a hallway?

The old-fashioned wireless communications method - very nice!

To the newer geeks: The above post is referring to the old wireless technology that utilized a unique QOS priority technique. Messages were encoded using higher and higher DB levels that really worked well - the louder the scream the faster people responded....

Re:this is stupid (3, Funny)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868044)

Well in my house when it's 2AM and I'm still playing SWG or DAOC my wife yelling up the stairs would wake up our 2 yr old and 4 month old pretty quickly.

Also, as us geeks make money we tend to get bigger houses where yelling between floors isn't as easy as it used to be (at least that's the case at my place) and sometimes the IMs I get are along the lines of ...

'Come Downstairs and start the grill please'

"Come downstairs and start the grill - i'm hungry'

'When are you going to come downstairs and start the grill'

'If you don't start the grill I'm going to cook the steaks on a broiler!'

She started it, and she's the normal person of the house.

Cons? (4, Insightful)

CeleronXL (726844) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867910)

Everyone in my family uses AIM to communicate around the house. There aren't really any cons to it aside from the fact that it tends to make you lazier and you lose the exercise of having to get up and walk to the person you want to talk to.

Re:Cons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868099)

what options are there for those of us that dont need an internet connection, but just want a local IM app?

instant messangers (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867912)

Does this tend to break down your 'personal time'?

instant messangers... yeah, they always break down my personal time. that's why I 'apt-get remove'd them all.

Re:instant messangers (2, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868000)

I add/remove program'd MSN messenger on windows and now windows won't boot :)

beats bellowing down the stairs (1)

dickens (31040) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867918)

I have a small house, but my wife knows I'm always on IM, so she does occasionally ask questions like "what's for dinner?"... I find it less intrusive than yelling through the house.

Re:beats bellowing down the stairs (1)

sreid (650203) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867945)

Combine that with voice recognition software and you coud be talking to her

Re:beats bellowing down the stairs (1)

rifter (147452) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867993)

Combine that with voice recognition software and you coud be talking to her

Why bother? most im clients have voice chat built in, so there is no reason to translate speech into text :P

Re:beats bellowing down the stairs (4, Funny)

ethanms (319039) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868058)

Well why not just get some webcams and video-conference?

"How's the weather in the living room dear?"

"Just peachy snookums, let's go to www.pizzahut.com for dinner!"

"Great idea pooky... let me just finish up my orders at www.peapod.com and www.netflix.com"

Back to back! (4, Interesting)

LinuxHam (52232) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867920)

Sometimes my wife will use her PC while we're in my office, and when she wants to know where to find some stuff on the net, i'll usually just IM her a Google hit page..

Also, I spent the summer working at a contract a couple hours away from home, and would frequently use AIM on my cellphone while at dinner to let her know that I was still at dinner and would be calling a little late that night. My little contribution to be one less person yelling into their cellphone in restaurants.

Re:Back to back! (1)

isorox (205688) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867982)


Also, I spent the summer working at a contract a couple hours away from home, and would frequently use AIM on my cellphone while at dinner to let her know that I was still at dinner and would be calling a little late that night. My little contribution to be one less person yelling into their cellphone in restaurants.


Something wrong with the much simpler and faster sms? Technology for technologies sake seems to get more and more prevalent as time marches on.

Re:Back to back! (1)

VertigoAce (257771) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868092)

I can't say that I've had much use for sms or aim on a cell phone, but there is at least one reason to IM from your cell phone. If the person you are sending a message to doesn't have/carry a cell phone, but uses AIM all the time, sms won't do you much good.

I have a simple paging protocol... (4, Funny)

raytracer (51035) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867923)

It usually involves me yelling at the top of my voice. I envy those who have a house so large that my voice does not provide adequate coverage.

My problem (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867925)

My problem is having way too much virtual sex with my sister... it's taking a toll on our real social lives.

Offtopic?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867960)

How is the parent poster offtopic?

If you're going to moderate, read the damn instructions!

Re:My problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867997)

What's the point in using IM if you're living in a cramped trailer in a trailerpark anyway?

Personal time between spouses (5, Interesting)

neostorm (462848) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867928)

This definitely breaks down personal time between my Girlfriend and I. We share a 1 bedroom apartment, and everyday she and I go our seperate ways to work. While working we usually chat back and forth constantly about current events, what that nights plans are, etc. But I've found over the last several years that when we both arrive home together that evening, there's nothing left to talk about.

It hasn't really damaged our relationship at all, which is nice to know, but it does says something for instant communication while apart.

Re:Personal time between spouses (2, Funny)

Peridriga (308995) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868018)

Have sex then when your not talking...

Not like your keeping her around for her 'fab' shoe collection are you?

Re:Personal time between spouses (5, Insightful)

Selecter (677480) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868021)

Maybe you should step away from the IM for a bit, and are you sure she feels the same way about it that you do? Women are quite a bit less inclined to want to communicate through a device. They crave one on one personal interaction and I dont think going thru IM counts. Maybe you have a exception there, but I bet she misses curling up on the couch with you and talking about things. When you get home and there's nothing left to talk about, I think it says you're spending too much time connected to each other. Smothering your wife is just as bad as ignoring her, I think. The trick is balancing everything. Why dont you ask her tonight straight up if she misses those days where you would sit down and catch up with each other? Bet she will surprise you.

Okay, this is going to far. (4, Funny)

bryanp (160522) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867929)

Put the mouse down.

Step away from the keyboard and nobody gets hurt.


Now go out and interact with people. They're in the same friggin house with you fer chrissakes.

Re:Okay, this is going to far. (2, Interesting)

Stigmata669 (517894) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867998)

hey man, don't knock it til you've tried it. I think that IMing in my house encourages little interactions that wouldn't happen otherwise. My dad will link me to some news story or something while I am doing homework whereas he wouldn't have bothered to interrupt me if he had to print it out and bring it to my room.

Re:Okay, this is going to far. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868030)

We don't IM, but use a PennMUSH shell.

It really helps with communication, we can pass links back and forth and if theres something private we need to talk about when company is over, all I have to say is - go look on your screen.

We've also worked out some Pennmush code that saves links we post and then exports them to a webpage so we can find old quicklinked bookmarks.

How big is your house? (4, Interesting)

jasonbowen (683345) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867931)

Is it so big that you can't just call out or walk for 10-15 seconds to talk to somebody? I've used IM clients to have a silent conversation in a crowded room before but not for regular communication at home.

Eh! (1)

Starve (672909) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867932)

I don't like it because being the only true Nerd in the house, I get a lot of intrusions on life from a 13 year old brother who finds it fun in his spare time to take advantage of my good nature and techincal knowledge, many times ive had song lyrics and or stuff he shouldn't have seen shown to him by friends who get his AIM address I've tried blocking them but he managed to figure out how to undo such things and is now roaming free in the metasocial domain of my friends, constantly do i find myself explaining to my mom about why and how he saw a goresite a horsesex site and even Goatse, the kid just can't handle the internet yet and it shows. However the rest of my family still can't figure out how to use Earthlink so as for now I am safe.

Re:Eh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868071)

just admit it, you and your brother are fags

Intrafamily IM (5, Funny)

willith (218835) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867933)

HotMamma24242: hay guys wut up its dinnr time
LittleBro33: cool
OlderSis53137: i dont lik 2 eat im 2 fat
DadInCharge98324: shut it oldersis youl eat wut ur mom telz u 2 eat and like it 2 lol
LittleBro33: lolololol haha u got n trubl
OlderSis53137: shut up il run aimnuke on u
*LittleBro33 has disconnected
HotMamma24242: its not nice to aimnuke ur brothr
DadInCharge98324: ur gonna get a spankin
OlderSis53137: no1 n this famly understands me i h8 u all
HotMamma24242: but i made teriaki chikn

Re:Intrafamily IM (1)

nathan s (719490) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868014)

I just have to say...this is brilliant.:-)

Re:Intrafamily IM (-1)

CreamOfWheat (593775) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868023)

Tesrting 1 2 3 4 5

Re:Intrafamily IM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868036)

Yeah man +5 funny all the way!

Re:Intrafamily IM (5, Funny)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868053)

OffcrDibbl4193: Hi this the LAPD, how can we help
OlderSis531357: Hey OffcrDibbl cum rnd n arest my dad, he sez hes gonna sxuly abuse me
OffcrDibble4193: Do you have any evidence of that mam ?
OlderSis531357: Yeah luk at this:

DadInCharge98324: ur gonna get a spankin
OlderSis53137: no1 n this famly understands me i h8 u all

OffcrDibble4193: OK, we'll be right around

Try talking to your family... (5, Insightful)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867934)

This is ridiculous. Just physically walk into the room they are in and ask them "What do you want for dinner?" Are people becoming so lazy and scared of others (including family) that they can only communicate via IM, cell phones, email...ect.

Trust me the small walk from room to room, will not affect your pear like body shape.

Re:Try talking to your family... (4, Insightful)

irokitt (663593) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867968)

Hell, screw what they *want* for dinner, make something and put it on the table. Problem solved, my work is done here.

Very useful (1)

sl70 (9796) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867939)

IM is like our in-house intercom. For example, I'm at work in my office in the basement and the phone rings. It's for my 12 year-old son (way more often than not), who's in his room on the 2nd floor. Rather than yelling up the laundry chute for him to pick up the phone, I just IM him.

Re:Very useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867969)

I hate to tell you this...but your son is a homosexual.

Actually (1)

Stigmata669 (517894) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867944)

I think it helps protect 'personal time.' My father can IM me something and I can dismiss him in a few keystrokes rather than having to chase him out of my room. My brother tends to ask me for help with homework via IM so I can point him in the right direction or go to physically help depending on the problem.

In addition, when I travel, and for when I head off to college next year, it is much easier to send a quick IM rather than make a phone call.

Re:Actually (1)

knowles420 (589383) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868040)

My father can IM me something and I can dismiss him in a few keystrokes rather than having to chase him out of my room. cooldad15: son, we need to talk. sexrobot4000: stfu.

internet connection management (1)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867946)

I use IM with my brother all the time. The thing is, he's in on the top floor and I'm 2 floors below in the basement.

So at night whichever one of us goes to bed first send the other an IM saying to please manage the internet connection. This means that when the other one of us goes to bed, we start up my sister's kazaa or shut down the gateway computer. (We are still on dialup, there's no broadband out here.)

It gets funny because sometimes I live in other cities for work purposes, but sometimes he still messages me at night, telling me to manage the internet connection and I have to remind him that I'm not even at home.

It's also great when we want to remind the other one that the over timer is beeping and our food is done cooking.

Big Deal (2, Interesting)

weave (48069) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867947)

It beats hollering around the house.

I often get calls on my cell phone from my wife at the other end of the house. At least people are communicating. When I was a kid, my mother would do anything just to get a few words out of me. She would have loved all of these new communication devices.

Maybe for those living in a trailer or shoebox, this concept is hard to understand! :)

Privacy, please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867949)

If my sisters or my parents found out my IRC-nick, I'd have to change it!

Since locking the door no longer would keep them away. :|

Personal time? (5, Funny)

CelticWhisper (601755) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867951)

Well, I don't know about you, but in my experience I...oh, dammit! Hang on, my kid just IMed me, he needs help with his homework. I'll finish this later. To the living room I go...

A Blessing (1)

SillySnake (727102) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867953)

I wish my family woulda done this when I was growing up. It woulda been nicer to avoid seeing them a little bit more.. No old wrinkled faces just before dinner, and the worst was breakfast.. Ugh.. I'm not a morning person at all.

So, there's nothing wrong with it. For the people that do use it in the household, they probably didn't communicate much to begin with, so I could see it actully bringing families closer together.

Wondering is sometimes better than asking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867954)

Are u sure you need to ask /. people what they think about every little detail of your life ?

Please just wonder if you feel you loose your 'personal time' or anything and take your decision accordingly. Why asking ?

If you really want to put something on /., read a book and write a comment. ;)

troll (n/t) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868112)

no text

Ha ha ha (4, Insightful)

be-fan (61476) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867957)

I'm AIM'ing my brother right now from my laptop. Its actually really nice, since if you see a cool website, you can just send a link, instead of running upstairs and showing it to him on his computer.

What IM is really useful for, however, is keeping in touch with people long-distance. IM has a relaxed, conversational quality that you can't get from a phone call. With the phone, there is pressure to finish the call quickly, and it is something that you do on special occasions. With IM, you can just say hi, or share a random funny thought, without wasting anyone's time.

Great technological advance for marital life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867959)

Thanks to the remote control features of windows XP, wireless networks and IM technology I can now see my wife play with herself on the bedroom webcam even when she's told me to sleep on the couch. Great stress relief and I don't have to fake I enjoy snuggling after sex. (I hope she doesn't read slashdot, she doesn't know I can remote control the bedroom computer.)

i would take it in a heartbeat to replace . . . (1)

kraksmoka (561333) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867963)

the constant screaming across the house where i grew up! :)

You insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7867967)

I uninstalled Family 1.0.

Also fun. (-1, Offtopic)

MooKore 2004 (737557) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867971)

My little brother, instead of buying a cheap laptop decided to waste 3000 on a powerbook . But since it is based on UNIX it has one FUN security hole. I could wirelessly SSH into his system, and type in using my Linux laptop stuff like "safari goatse.cx", mplayer "porn.avi", or shutdown. Because he is using Crap OS X he has no idea how to secure it because unlike Crap OS X Linux FORCES you to learn about secruity. He eventually sold the powerbook and bought himself a sony vaio. Which gave him twice the speed at half the price :).

let me get this right... (1)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868045)

you don't like osx, correct? you could have shown you're brother the software update option!

Re:Also fun. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868084)

you're an asshole and I cum in you

Re:Also fun. (1)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868113)

I honestly hope you're a troll. Really. Linux in no way whatsoever 'forces' you to learn about security any moreso than Windows or OSX. So he had an SSH service he evidently didn't need? This is different from a linux box running a loose SSH how? I'm not an Apple fanboy by any stretch of the imagination - I don't nor have I ever owned an Apple machine (but I also wouldn't turn one down), but you really need a reality check. OS X isn't perfect, but it's definitely one of the nicer OS's I've had a chance to play with. As far as 'speed' goes, who cares about raw computational power if the powerbook does what he needs? 99.999% don't need a 2GHz P4 - why force it upon them?

anything to end yelling up the stairs... (4, Interesting)

ethanms (319039) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867973)

hearing the "BLAH BLAH BLAH!"... "WHAT?"... "BLAAHH BLLAAAHH BLAAAHHH!!"... "WHAT?"... thankfully it's just me and 1 other at home, so I only deal with that at the family's...

I use it work to talk to people in the next cube over... because it cuts down on voice-noise at work, it allows me to be at my PC and doing other things while someone else's brain churns to come up with thoughts... It also offers some privacy against cube-snoopers who sit and listen to other people's conversations... of course IM is clear text so it's usually just idle jabber... anything more classified requires a trip to Chotchkie's for coffee

Your home is a cubicle cluster (2, Insightful)

fleener (140714) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867976)

The family household is first, and foremost, the place you learn and strengthen your communication skills. I'm sure 10 years from now we'll know all the CONs of diverting most of our face-to-face communication to instant messaging. It will surely strain all form of communication, from retail customer service to inter-office discussions. We already bitch about working in cubicles. Now we want to make our childrens' rooms cubicles too? How utterly sad.

Good way to stay in touch (3, Funny)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867977)

I use instant messaging with some of my extended family members. It's a great way of staying in touch. The only excuse for instant messaging someone in your own household, however, is if you do not possess muscle control over your legs. I mean, good god. Walk down the hallway and get a little excercise at least. That much laziness and your computer chair will give you bed sores.

Real people! (3, Insightful)

BlndBoy (303676) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867981)

Ok, enough is enough. I can't believe there are professionals in this world that think this is a GOOD thing. I regularly stop IM conversations with a phrase like - "Shouldn't this be a phone/face-to-face conversation?" The text medium simply leaves too much room for misunderstanding.

Families need to learn to DEAL with eachother, and having your body language and voice inflection sheilded sure as hell isn't going to help.

Kids these days. (I'm 22, and I get scared.)

Well (1)

stuph (664902) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867983)

Girlfriend and I share an apartment, 2 bedrooms, 1 as an office.. generally we just IM each other random links, but if it's anything else, i'll go through the motions of actually turning around in my chair to talk to her...

As far as families go, I can't imagine while growing up not being yelled at by my parents to tell me to "Get your ass out here, what in God's name did you do this time!?!?"

Jabber (2, Interesting)

frohike (32045) | more than 9 years ago | (#7867986)

My wife and I use this because we have a basement that's separate from the upstairs of the house (you have to walk outside and back in). Her office is down there, mine is up here, so it's a bit of a pain to talk back and forth.

We also had AIM reliability issues (and I dislike the unencrypted chatter going out and back in) so I set up Jabber on our server here. Works great -- even when the cable modem goes out it's still there. No one else snooping in on the conversations, etc. Also Gaim works with Jabber now (if somewhat buggily) so you don't need to switch clients or anything to add it.

Vast Mansions (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868001)

Are American houses so big that you can't shout to the other people in them ? I'm not sure the articles idea of a wicked sense of humour is quite the same as mine: "What do you want for tea ?" "A pizza and a beer mom." "What do you want for tea ?" "I dunno, my mate Hellbastard just brought round some sherbet, it was very nice but we've finished it all off now, can you get us more - bitch ?"

Away Messages and Profiles (2, Interesting)

gabeman-o (325552) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868009)

One reason that I don't talk to my family (other than my brother) on AIM is that I sometimes have things in my away messages and my profile that I don't necessarily want them to see. For example, I don't want them to read my away message saying that I'm at a party at 3am on a school night (the reason that they wouldn't know is that I go to school 3 hours and a few states away). I do, however, use iChat AV and my iSight to videoconference with my family.

I used to use IM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868011)

As a college student in the dorms it's easy to be at AIM all the time because you really can't get very far from it. When I got an apartment I made the decision to dump AIM because otherwise I'd be in my bedroom all the time.

I don't spend so much time with the computer anymore, but I've found I never see my roommates unless I actually go into their rooms. They're ALWAYS on AIM and NEVER in the living room, kitchen, or other-room-we-don't-use. It's bizarre.

It's actually making me sick thinking about it. Wasting away in front of a computer while pouring over trash websites and talking to people online you should be hanging out with instead of talking about doing something.

to everyone saying "just yell ..." (4, Insightful)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868015)

you obviously don't have a baby. when you are in bed with sleeping baby next to you on the wireless laptop and wife is working in the home office, IM is a godsend.

screaming=kid wakes up = your 20 minutes of private time today is over!

No Downfalls?? (4, Insightful)

ticklemeozmo (595926) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868016)

I've just been reading the past 30+ comments, and no one seems to think that this is a problem!!

Sure, for the teen geeks out there who like a lil privacy (I don't mean like thaT.. well, maybe I guess I do) this is OK for. But for a family to be a family this sure does pose major problems?

A poster a few messages up claimed his wife and him have nothing to talk about when they get home after talking all day. What about for the parent and child who would rather IM while around the house. Doesn't prolonged exposure to this make the child more unwilling to talk to his/her parent face-to-face about sex/drugs/abuse??

I know I tried my damnedest to remain an reclusive troll around my house, but thankfully my parents were active in my life and always asked questions. Hindsight being what it is, I'm glad we came to a good balance between privacy and parenting! That sort of thing requires you to LOOK at your parents and FACE your problems/fears.. not hitting "Block" or "Exit".

I know I have a point here, and I'm trying to find it.

Sometimes this is the only way. (3, Insightful)

ByteHog (247706) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868020)

For example: me, my brother, my mom and my dad all live in different cities. We keep in touch via IM.

irony... (4, Insightful)

kevin lyda (4803) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868028)

so families are using a new communication tool to, um, communicate, and people are asking if this is reducing communication within families?

is im or email or irc or phone or letter or videophone or telegraph the same as talking face to face? no, they're all different. and none are best, certain circumstances lend themselves better to certain methods. some people find letters a better method of telling family members bad news. i like people to email me info like addresses, phone numbers or email addresses. irc is a nice supplement to conference calls as it lets taking minutes be distributed.

but i supposed change always sees this. "oh no, it's different, it must be BAAAAD!"

whatever.

Back in college (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868029)

Pre-IM, my roommate and I would exchange email... across our dorm room... while we were both sitting there.

Another stray from family time (1)

samdaone (736750) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868035)

American's, such as myself, have strayed away from the staple of the 50's and early 70's of having family time together. Where the family would gather around a radio or tv and listen together and discuss. When I grew up in the 80's and 90's there was no family dinner. We each grabbed our own plate and went our seperate ways.

IM is just adding another barrier to interpersonal communcations within the family environment. Is everyone in the family so glues to their individual computers that no one talks to one another anymore even to just shoot the bruise? Will American's and other families become secluded that we occasionally need to glance at pictures of our immediate family to remember what they look like?

I for one hope this changes and that family time can be a staple for all families. IM'ing inside a big home is not that much of a problem now just asking for dinner. But what happens when Mom and Dad need to do the mandatory "birds and the bees" talk will it be done by IM and video camera? Or will they just walk you through a Power Point presentation via IM and give you voice when you need to ask questions?

IM me u2 (5, Interesting)

The Llama King (187264) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868038)

We're a 2-parent, 2-kid family. Most of our computers are in one room, a kind of in-home NOC. Often all 4 of us are in this room, on the computers, and often all on IM. There we sit, our backs to each other, and sometimes rather than talk we'll all IM each other. We all admit it's pretty pathetic and pretty weird, but dammit, we like it that way.

ALL the time! (2, Insightful)

zippity8 (446412) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868039)

Try living in a student house with 8 or so people in it.

Back in the day, we'd end up using IM more frequently than we'd actually go in and talk to each other. Not only was it more convenient, it also let us respond after studying, when we got home, or whatever. With the schedules so different, it was just easier than getting up, banging on the door, then going back and messaging them later on.

But then again, the best way to get each other's attention was to crank up Quake....

Heh (1)

RainbowSix (105550) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868042)

After one particularly late night of studying in college 3 years ago, my roomate, a friend, and I started cursing at each other over AIM in our tiny freshman dorm room. It was memorable as one of those "everything is funny because you're tired" nights.

These days, AIM is useful in finding out if somebody is in their apartment before going down the hall to visit.

I'd rather just use IRC anyway (3, Funny)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868043)

Dad: What? You won't eat your vegetables?
Kid: Nope. They're gross.
Dad: (Goes to computer) +b #tvroom
Kid: NOOOOOOOO!!!! BUT DAAAADDDDD!!!!

Shout, shout... (1)

ivern76 (665227) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868046)

Tears for Fears comes to mind...what happened to bellowing "MOM...WHAT'S FOR DINNER?" across the house?

A lifelong geek, I still find the extremes some people go to insane.

No Family (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868049)

I don't have a family, you insenstive clod!

I think I'll IM myself to ask myself what I want for dinner.

uhm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#7868052)

wheres my dinner bitch

Home, no - work, yes (2, Insightful)

Cat_Byte (621676) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868072)

I worked at a .com during the boom and the entire company had ICQ installed. It was SO much better than playing phone tag. Hell if someone was on the phone you could pop-up msg them saying who was on the line wanting to talk to them. Or if I was on the phone I could still keep taking care of business via ICQ.
For the home I think it's just silly or at the least, lazy. The only time I've ever used it room to room in the home was joking around. "It's 10pm. Do youk now what your son is doing behind your back?"

Re:Home, no - work, yes (1)

Grimster (127581) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868100)

Not sure if it's still around but we used to use the corporate ICQ server, where you could run your own private server in house and that was VERY handy, plus not being on the "regular" icq network we didn't get spam and we didn't have employees hanging on chat with outside friends all the time either.

At home I refuse to have the computers across the house, it's hard enough to get family time as it is without having junior huddled in his bedroom and me in the basement/etc so we put all the PC's in one room along with the TV and entertainment system, we call it the family room and it's where we spend most of our time, this way if my son is watching Nemo for the 113th time and I'm doing whatever on the PC we're still in the same room and I can also watch over my shoulder the TV and comment on his favorite parts.

Once he gets old enough to go from Finding Nemo to something a little racier we'll put a PC in his room probably, teenagers do need some privacy but not a 3 year old.

a step ahead - we use SIP phones (1)

bajjeen (737211) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868073)

we use sip phones in my house to communicate. i hv a asterisk server and all my laptops and desktops hv SIP clients configured (MSN Msgr and SIP Phone). Also i hv couple of Hardware SIP phones. Calling others is just a matter of right click and place a call. :-) Also i hv hooked up my PSTN with asterisk. so when i get a land line call the call gets transfered to my all SIP phones (Laptops, desktops and hardware phones). if i am working on my laptop i just pick it up from my laptop. Its very cool. -B

IM in the house ? (3, Interesting)

nsebban (513339) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868079)

Wow, man I think my geek-o-meter just melt while I was reading this post. And I had to shut down my weird-o-meter to prevent it from melting as well.

Well, I like IM, I use it every day with. But when I'm a few meters away from the person I'm chatting with, I discovered that opening my mouth to talk was much better. You should do the same, and you'll see that real-life communication with people (especially family) is a nice thing.

Treat it like you would at work... (1)

mgrassi99 (514152) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868080)

Our big thing at work is email is great, but it pays to actually fly somewhere and talk to someone FTF as needed. You develop better interpersonal relationships, and you can better manage the people working on your project. Just like at home. You don't want to "parent" via IM, so yes, things like "dinner is ready" or "take the dog out" are probably fine, but you probably don't want to discuss family finances or Aunt Betty's latest breakdown over it.

how big is your house? (1)

eske (211780) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868088)

Why don't you just go an talk to your wife/grilfriend/boyfriend/children?

want personal time? (1)

themusicgod1 (241799) | more than 9 years ago | (#7868098)

simple. disconnect. or use the "away" feature, saying so. whats so hard?
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