I would really like to know more about the psychology of 2.0 tools, as well as some more established internet communication tools like IM or even SMS... I am busily working on a presentation for my internship regarding implementation of some of these tools, and I find that those people who are very accustomed to these tools understand their attractiveness and draw, but are often unable to articulate WHY they find them so appealling.

For example, in discussion of the benefits of IM reference, I found myself repeatedly facing the question, okay, so its synchronous, real-time, yadda yadda, but so is the telephone. What makes IM better, or for that matter, different than the telephone?

I find myself hard pressed to answer that question, though I know that, psychologically, there is a very big difference indeed. I HATE long drawn out phone conversations, but I'm happily logged onto IM for four and five hours at a clip in the evenings.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the psychology of some of these tools, including social networks as a means of communication? Or, better yet, has anyone come accross any literature that deals with this kind of thing? I would love to know.

Thanks, all!

-Meg

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Comment by Margaret G. Grotti on August 6, 2007 at 7:47pm
I completely agree wiht you there, Deborah. It has certain utilities that make it attractive. But I am wondering about a certain comfort level that people associate with IM... I think that research into the topic will probably enlighten me, thanks for your input!
Comment by Deborah Fitchett on August 6, 2007 at 7:34pm
When I'm using IM I tend to be multitasking - reading a website, or writing an email, or watching TV, or cooking dinner (with my wireless laptop at a convenient but safe distance), and just clicking back to IM when the person I'm talking to says something. Whereas when I'm on the phone, that's generally the only thing I'm doing. So an IM conversation may last hours, but I get a lot of other things done at the same time.
Comment by Deborah Fitchett on August 6, 2007 at 7:34pm
When I'm using IM I tend to be multitasking - reading a website, or writing an email, or watching TV, or cooking dinner (with my wireless laptop at a convenient but safe distance), and just clicking back to IM when the person I'm talking to says something. Whereas when I'm on the phone, that's generally the only thing I'm doing. So an IM conversation may last hours, but I get a lot of other things done at the same time.
Comment by Richard Cox on August 1, 2007 at 8:38am
Well, I'm neither a psychologist or a reference librarian, but I would give IM one edge i that you can copy and paste text such as URLs and directions/instruction.
Comment by Ridie Ghezzi on July 31, 2007 at 8:44pm
And of course, Meg, Dartmouth College subscribes to this journal online back to 2000 so you should be able to access these articles, hopefully full-text!
Comment by Margaret G. Grotti on July 31, 2007 at 5:37pm
Thank you so much Steve. This will be a great start!
Comment by Steve Watkins on July 31, 2007 at 3:27pm
I just did a quick-and-dirty search on "instant messaging" in the PsycInfo database and got several dozen relevant, recent citations from hard-core psychology research journals, so there's apparently a growing body of formal literature on the aspects you're interested in. Of course, finding a library that owns the journal CyberPsychology & Behavior, in which quite a few of the articles appear, might be a bit of an obstacle.

--Steve

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