For me, getting work done with an IM program open is like mini-golfing against a guy with an air horn. The distraction is impossible to ignore. A recent study in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, however, has found that IM does not adversely affect overall work levels. In the study, IM users “report being interrupted less frequently than non-users, and they engage in more frequent computer-mediated communication than non-users, including both work-related and personal communication.” Maybe that’s because IM haters like me, have long since turned their IM programs off.
I Would Have Written This Earlier (But I Was Busy Instant Messaging)