Daily Archives: April 26, 2003

AIM Experiment Conclusions

My AIM chatroom experiment has led me to an astonishing conclusion: a large amount of people do not go online to talk.

Even I think to myself, “Come again?”

When people go into chatrooms they feel obligated to talk. This point is obvious when I remember that one person pointed out that the purpose of a chatroom is to chat. When no one chats, the room “dies” and everyone will leave. This exacerbates the obligation to talk.

Sometimes, people refuse to enter a chatroom, giving all sorts of excuses. The reason they don’t want to go in is so they are not obligated to chat. Why would they not want to feel obligated to chat if they were on a chatting service? Perhaps because they are not online to talk.

Odd, but true. There is some logic to it, however. People go online and yet, they don’t say anything. Why, they could just go browse about and not sign on instant messenger, right? Why would they want to go through the extra hassle? If they don’t sign on, they’re alone. Humans beings are social species. We don’t want to think we’re alone. We get, well, lonely. This way, people can fool themselves into thinking that even though they’re on a computer by themselves, they are still sociable!

Some people fill up their buddy list to the full capacity of 200. How many of these people are they really talking to? Hm?

People specifically sign on instant messengers because they don’t want to feel alone. Now, that I’ve come to the conclusion from my experiment, I can see other signs. Why do people leave their away message on when they go to sleep? It’s because they don’t want to disconnect from the community. Even when they aren’t actually there, they are! They can not be there, and still be sociable. Wow!

People sign on for hours at a time. I doubt they’re talking nonstop throughout that time. With AIM, or something analogous, running in the background, they don’t feel lonely.

Most people go to movies with friends. Many of these people hardly say a word throughout the movie. With instant messenger the same concept applies. They feel alone, even though logically, it makes no sense.

To verify my ideas, I would have to conduct more experiments. The last experiment also included throwing together people who didn’t know each other. In the next experiment, I will avoid that, because it makes some people uncomfortable. It will be chatting in small groups. If they still refuse, it will help contribute to the information that supports my hypothesis.

Of course, all my conclusions could be for naught, if people are actually talking to other people, just not to me…. Suddenly, I feel… alone.