First Topic: What Motivates People To Chat On Facebook?

Facebook. We all have one. Those who haven't joined yet are considered by their online friends to be living in some sort of time distortion. There's no question about its wide spread usage, but let's get a little more specific. Let's talk about the chat feature.

Recently I was chatting with a new friend of mine, Jen ( While chatting, she suggested I write about what the motivation is for people to chat on Facebook. Now that's a tough topic. My first thoughts were about those friends that consistently initiate chats and don't have anything they really wanted to say to you. They're bored and you are their boredom scapegoat. Of course, the conversations are drawn out forever with replies that grow shorter and shorter until you end up with nothing but an "uhuh" or "oh" as a response. When you've finished the business you came online to do you find yourself thinking of a way to get out of the conversation and logging the heck out. At this point, you've convinced yourself that you'd rather be weeding the garden than politely carrying on conversation. This is not always the case, or so we hope.

Sometimes we might be online and have some personal news we need to share with a close friend, we log in and like an answer to a prayer, there, in that little, diabolically evil list of who has chat enabled and is online, we find that one close friend and we get the news off of our chest. What a relief. YEAH RIGHT! Maybe once in a blue moon.

The main purposes of chatting, as far as I can tell, is to feel like you're still connected and up to date with the person you are chatting with. We make friends, but do we have time to talk to every, or even most of our friends in person? Chances are the answer is no. So what do we do to stay up to date with these friends? What do we do so that we don't feel like strangers when we meet again in person? We text, chat, IM, call, email, etc. I'm of the opinion that Facebook has outgrown the buddies you see all the time and has grown a place to house the friends you once had and just might want to see again one day. And so we chat.

Of course this very well may be quite an over generalization. We are motivated to chat online for endless reasons. Another quick reason would be to inform someone of something simply because it's not considered email worthy, or perhaps it's something time sensitive.

To be completely honest, I'm not the greatest person to be blogging on this. I'm rarely the one to initiate chats on Facebook. I'm more of an IM and email guy. What do you guys think? I want to hear your thoughts. Tell me what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Dull? I think not. Loving this post Gille, keep them coming.