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  • StudentScholarships

    StudentScholarships.org – Greatest Inventions of the 21st Century

    The world of the past is unrecognizable after years of innovation and growth. Many inventions have wrought incredible changes in our lives. The invention of computers, credit cards, cell phones, and other new technologies have revolutionized the past into the present. Yet it is perhaps the most unassuming of these inventions that has the greatest impact on today’s world: instant messaging, or IMing.
    Instant messaging, according to studentscholarships.org, was patented by America Online in September of 2002. Its practical uses are few. In the high-tech world of scholarship 2005, the sole function of instant messaging is to allow Internet users to communicate from the far reaches of the globe with just the click of a mouse.
    Despite its harmless facade, however, instant messaging is altering the world immensely. Making it possible to chat with several people at once, instant messaging has become a preferred mode of communication. As it increases in popularity across the globe, communication becomes more and more impersonal. Just as letter-writing became an outdated mode of communication with the invention of the telephone, it seems that talking on the telephone will slowly be replaced with the development of electronic communication.
    With the advent of instant messaging also came the birth of a new, abbreviated, slang. IM users often converse without capitalization, punctuation, or spelling. “I will talk to you later”, for example, reads “ill ttyl” in an instant message. Laughter has been reduced to “lol”, which stands for “laughing out loud”, and in lieu of facial expressions instant messagers send “smileys” – :-) to show happiness, :-( to express sadness. Will this new lingo assimilate itself into our language over time? Perhaps it already has.
    Instant messaging also has repercussions that are downright dangerous. By rendering it possible to converse without revealing one’s identity, IMing opens the door for online predators to ensnare unsuspecting victims. What seems to be an innocent chat with a trustworthy person could all too easily be a conversation with a criminal pretending to be someone else. While instant messaging is safe for the most part, there has been an increase in this hazardous trend. The dangers of IMing cannot be ignored.
    The influence of instant messaging in today’s world is clear. Though its creation did not have an immediate and obvious impact, there is no question that it has altered the world greatly since its invention. Unlike many recent inventions, instant messaging has brought a lasting change to the world’s communication, language, and crime of today. In this fast-paced world where technology abounds, the impact of instant messaging is immeasurable.

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