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Buddy List Envy

 I have to confess... I'm envious of my daughter's (11) buddylist. I'm also fascinated how AIM adoption amongst all her friends in the last year is changing communications patterns.   I don't think I've ever had six or more buddy screens open at the same time.  Yet for her it's common place and I think she loses interest when it is less than three.   Of her list 96% are from her year which means about 50% of the kids in fifth grade are on her list.  Is it the norm?  How would I know. No matter it changes how I communicate with my kids.  IM is great and makes me more accessible. 

So when I saw this link via Many to Many and Clay Shirky.  Social Software How Instant Messaging Augments Conversations I followed it though to Stewart Butterfield.  There are more appropriate references there.  Still in the context of my daughter this helped.

"Part of this is because it is OK to not answer an IM until you are ready—a pause of 30 seconds is perfectly acceptable where it wouldn’t be in voice (and the answerer doesn’t even have to hold the question in their mind while doing something else, but can refer back to it later)."

There is also a great set of comments there.  Despite K's list and visible groups they seldom use a chat room together, according to her it not as much fun.  I'm not sure if this is just time, experience, or gossip. 

Still the italics above are consistent with what I've observed.  The kids are no longer shy or embarassed to "talk to boys" -- they have time to think about their responses.  The old phone paranoia is gone. 

From my own interactions she periodically corrects her short-hand spelling in the next post with a "*word" the asterik meaning correction.  Of course I don't have a technorati on her buddy list (although there is a program that does it from memory). Still this group has their own shorthand. and it's not just "wut u tnk"

Should I be worried? It beats having the phone tied up. 

Comments (2)


Stuart - so this is what you've been upto while staying away from your blog - chatting with your daughter and her buddies :).

I do think we will soon see the day when chat gets better status among people collaborating on business as well.

Dave - have you seen this one - 'Girls Teach Teen Cyber Gab to FBI Agents' - the FBI too has recognised the importance of studying teen communication habits and idiom ! (here's the link - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A10052-2003Jun3.html?nav=hptop_tb)


This university profesor from the Netherlands I met at an eLearning conference last year in Montreal gave a presentation about the emerging changes in cognitive "chunking" that the Digital Generation(s) were exhibiting.

The title of his presentation (if I recall correctly) was something like "From Homo Sapiens to Homo Zappiens".

They know, for example, that if you watch the first 2 minutes of a soap opera, about two minutes in the middle, and the last two minutes, it's very likely you'll get the whole story.

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