Monday, July 12, 2010

IM In The Mood For Conversation

It’s 9:30 most any evening, and I’ve drawn a nice mug of tea. Sit back, check my mail and wait for my brother to come up on Instant Messenger.

We type back and forth and sometimes I’ll read it over after we have finished to see how we got from start to end – just how did the conversation wander from one point to another. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of expanding on a thought; often we just think of something new to say and it’s a quick break.

9:30 is about the earliest this night owl can show up, and the latest the early bird can stay awake. Seems to work and occasionally I’ll bring up IM in the afternoon to see if he’s around. I can be working on something rather brainless and chat at the same time, pretty much as you might do at the kitchen table.

Back and forth we type, the conversation flows over the miles, across the border. We live in different countries but can talk in real time without having to use the phone. Is it nicer to call and hear each other’s voice? Sure; but this takes its place rather nicely between occasional real-life calls.

We seldom, if ever, wrote to each other. Well, maybe once a year, so the Post Office has no reason to worry about losing the sale of a stamp or two. But this has expanded our contact immensely. I used to let my public name out there for others, but now I have one private IM name and one person on the other end.

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