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What are the pros and cons of using instant messaging?

Question: What are the pros and cons of using instant messaging?


  • What the advantages are:

    • Fast: Instant messages (IMs) appear on the recipient’s screen as soon as you send them.
    • Free: Most services are completely free.
    • Attention-Getting: IMs pop up on your screen over the rest of your open files. It can be a great way of catching someone’s attention while they’re on the phone or in a meeting or there is no time to wait for them to open their e-mail or check their voicemail. You can, however, set most services to minimize messages so they alert you they’ve arrived but don’t override your screen.
    • Send quick questions/answers without walking to another person’s office or having to call them (save money on long-distance phone bills).
    • Group Chats: Talk to more than one person at a time. You can also have voice conversations and video
  • What the disadvantages are:

    • Security risks, since many chat programs come with features such as file sharing, this leaves a major security risk for mal ware and viruses to be transmitted easily to your computer even with a sophisticated antivirus or firewall in place
    • Hidden monitoring software some instant messaging programs, even some of the more reputable ones come with the label of “free” but in reality contain monitoring software that is used with the intent of gathering customer computer information and propagating advertisements in the form of pop ups this can lead to annoying advertisements and propagation of spyware
    • May become a time consuming diversion and detrimental to business time, since it Is all too human to let even normal conversation drift, sometimes Instant messaging can be a two edged sword so to speak, where the conversation drifts from that of a business matter, into non work related casual conversation which some businesses find detracts from worker productivity.

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