Drinking At The Virtual Water Cooler

from the while-looking-busy dept

About four years ago, I was working at a questionably run startup, crammed into a single cubicle with two other employees. Despite the fact that we were practically sitting on top of each other most days, we used instant messaging to talk about the latest insanity going on at work. All one of us had to do was joke that it was time to enter the “cone of silence” and we would stop talking and start instant messaging with each other. Ever since then, instant messaging has definitely been the “virtual water cooler” for me, and it extends the water cooler to other companies as well – it seems that I know the gossip all day at plenty of other companies where friends work these days. Now News.com has finally discovered that people use instant messaging to chat with others during work about non-work related items. Of course, they make this sound somewhat alarming and talk about how companies might crack down on the practice. Not much new in the article, but a reminder of just how big instant messaging at the office has become without top management realizing it.

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