Tag Archives: google chat

The tale of the terrible digital reference interaction, part II

Cartoon of a woman in a pink dress typing frantically on a laptop

Image via Hyperbole and a Half

In part I, I told you about how my digital reference interview went sour. Tonight, I’m going to reflect and look at the role the medium of communication (instant messaging, or IM) might have played in all of this.

One of the great things about IM is that it lies between email and face-to-face conversations in terms of the speed of exchange of words. Like email, you can type out a message and edit it before you hit “send” (or, if you’re like me, you hit send too soon and don’t realize you spelled “sometimes” as “sometmies” and “the” as “hte” until it’s too late). And, like a face-to-face interaction, the other party or parties will receive your message instantaneously (well, as soon as you send your message).

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