There are plenty of people who absolutely dislike instant messaging, claiming that it's distracting and tends to interrupt other important work. However, a new study suggests otherwise, noting that instant messaging conversations may happen more often, but they tend to be quicker and more to the point than other types of interruptions
. Thus, if someone can get the useful info they need via IM, it's likely to take a lot less time and be much less of an interruption than a phone call or a personal visit. So, before condemning instant messaging, perhaps think of how many phone calls or annoying visits it's helped keep away. The real trick, honestly, is for people to learn to use instant messaging in asynchronous ways: that is, if you're really busy working on something else, ignore the flashing window until you have an opening and can deal with it.