Independent Thinking Blog

What is Instant?

Two people recently have wanted to connect via Instant Messenger. The problem: I don’t use IM. I find it disruptive. It’s like a conversation that demands to be had, right now.

But what is instant? My friend Jeremy Meyers points out that Twitter isn’t, because when we receive information is dependent on our refresh settings. Adrian Chan called this streamtime in an excellent post a few months back.

While I guess I’m okay without instant-ness, I do value immediacy–especially online. I realized how much our expectations have shifted when someone tweeted out the “Breaking News” that Abe Pollin (whom I never met, but vastly admired) had died. But it isn’t new, was my first thought, I knew this 10 minutes ago. Then I caught myself and smiled.

How have your expectations shifted over time? And what are the implications for business?

Photo by Toni Rantanen (Flickr).

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