The term I chose to research that relates to the modern information society is “instant messaging.” After researching this term’s earliest uses in newspapers such as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, I found that the very first articles that reported about instant messaging were concerned with it’s use in offices. Instant messaging was originally thought of as a way to communicate between coworkers on large IBM computers in the office setting. No one was thinking about people using this technology on personal computers. Specifically, these newspapers reported on Wang Laboratories’ use of instant messaging on smaller computers. The Los Angeles Times first reported on this in 1982, while the New York Times did not report anything until 1989. I thought it was interesting that these two separate entities first reported on instant messaging because of the same company.
When I looked at instant messaging through scholarly article databases, these too included articles having to do with business. On ProQuest, the article that included the term “instant messaging” was about how Mobil Oil was switching to a new processing system that would be better for their marketing, and it included instant messaging. On Project Muse, the article I found was a lengthy list of technological terms, published in 1999, for people to get familiar with. The last article I found was on JStor, which was published in 1986, discusses whether or not instant messaging is a threat to society.
Overall, I think that “instant messaging” carries a different meaning today. I do not think people associate it with business as much as they think of it as a part of everyone’s day to day lives. People instant message their friends before they would instant message their coworkers. It is much more common to send a coworker an email than to send them a message on Facebook chat.