Why I Don’t GChat

I don’t GChat or IM or Facebook Chat. Unless you give me a really good reason, I probably never will.

I have nothing against people who GChat. If that’s how you like to communicate, keep doing it. I’m not here to convince you otherwise.

But I feel like I get asked to switch to GChat more than I’m asked to switch from any other form of conversation. Never am I talking with someone in person and they say, “Hey, let’s switch over to e-mail.” I guess it kind of happens the other way around, but it’s a natural progression (especially when dating)–you e-mail a few times and then meet in person.

Here’s the thing: E-mail is my preferred method of communication, surpassed only by talking in person, and not all the time. E-mail lets me respond to someone at my own pace, when I want to, and with the time to gather my thoughts. Even if I reply to e-mail fairly quickly, which I often do, I can do other things in between writing e-mails. And I like the option to leave the e-mails behind for any reason at any time and not feel like I’m walking away from a live conversation, which GChat is.

With GChat, however, there’s an immediacy to it. It demands your immediate attention…and yet it’s not quite as fast as a real conversation. Honestly, it simply doesn’t seem like the best use of time. It’s more of a distraction than anything else. If you really need to talk to me about something, call me and we’ll work it out in 2 minutes, not 15 minutes of smiley faces and overlapping statements.

It’s for this same reason that I don’t like having conversations by text. I don’t want to be a part of any text conversation that lasts longer than 3 texts each unless it’s naughty. And even then, it’s too hard to type, and it creates the bad kind of multitasking scenario. The kind when you’re not really focused on anything despite dead air.

So you tell me: The next time someone says to me, “Can we just GChat?”, is there any compelling reason or scenario when I should say yes? Do you GChat?