This article studies IM’s effects on interruptions and presence awareness, as well as the effect presence awareness has on interruptions. For the statistical analysis a subset of 111 elements of the February 2004 PEW Internet and American Life surveys dataset was used as a sample. PLS Graph software was used to create the structural model and test the relationships between the constructs Interruptions (INT), Presence Awareness (AWA), and use of IM in the workplace (IMW).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Interruption: A synchronous interaction that is not initiated by the recipient, is unscheduled, and results in the recipient discontinuing their current activity.
Instant Messaging (IM): A computer-mediated tool that is used to send and receive text messages in a synchronous manner using the Internet.
Presence Awareness: The ability to see who is online at specific times. Most IM systems display a list of users connected to the network using the IM system.
Initiator: The IM user that begins the communication request.
Asynchronous Medium: A communications medium that does not requires that both parties are present at the same time in the same space (for example: e-mail).
Symbolic Interactionist Perspective: A theory used to explain symbolic cues conveyed by different communication media.
Synchronous Medium: A communications medium that requires that both parties are present at the same time in the same space (for example: face-to-face or telephone).
Recipient: The IM user that receives the communication request.