Instant messaging and homework: the best of both worlds?

Christina Trentacoste ('08)/ Eastside Staff

 

    “Bing!”

The door creaks open — someone has just signed on.  With tons to talk about and just a button away from saying it, how does anyone get all their homework done anymore?

Instant messaging (IM) is one of the most common ways of interacting with one another these days.  Whether its asking a friend a quick homework question or talking for hours about that new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, students are always online.

Today, it seems like students have so many distractions; IM just adds to it.  Yet, some students at East argue that although it may be a distraction, instant messenger is a great way to get a homework question answered.

“I use IM all the time.  If I need a quick answer or help [with my homework], I’ll ask one of my friends [online],” said Simone Owens (‘08).

With a friend at just a message away, it is easy to get a second opinion on an essay or ask when the next history project is due.  Allowing over 200 people on a buddy list, IM makes for a helpful resource for students.

Typical technology is gaining popularity among teachers as well as students.  Because

of its convenience, teachers use the internet to provide assistance to their student.  IM can aid teachers in providing extra help without forcing student to make an after school or morning appointment.

“[The internet] has been a very useful tool because kids are online all the time and I do spend a lot of time online myself,” said science teacher Mrs. Oh.

Instant messenger has proven to be one of the most popular ways of communication, yet it has some negative effects on a student.

Although IM can be a fast way to get homework help or get a question answered, many students tend to get distracted and spend hours online.  With the excitement of an IM, it can be easy to neglect academics.  The simple task of writing an essay can take up to twice as long if a student is constantly checking away messages or their instant messages.

“IM lingo” has also begun to take over student’s writing.  Many students lack basic grammar because of their frequent quick online lingo.  After a long break from school without writing any formal essays, students forget to use their formal writing techniques and start using quick online phrases.  It may seem much quicker to type “r u going to the movies” rather than “Are you going to the movies?”, but the habit of using quick phrases often transcends into scholastic essays.

“[Because of] the internet, I see even in formal essays students using IM jargon,” said English teacher Ms. Greenwald.

Whether we choose to hit the “sign off” key or just phttp://www.wackyb.co.nzut on an away message on, instant messaging can be helpful or detrimental.  But the only true way to “sign off” from th distractions of instant messenger is to make sure that those quick homework questions do not turn into a three hour conversation about Meredith Grey and McDreamy.