It is nearly impossible for us to come up with a legitimate and uncontroversial definition of the word "friendship." It is evident that as technology changes things, we are no longer limited to face-to-face conversations and consequently, the meaning of friendship changes. When Alexander Bell received his patent for the telephone, the late nineteenth century witnessed bonds of friendship extending to telephone conversations. However today, thanks to the Internet, friendships can now be formed without us ever having to meet each other and we can simply type words on a screen.
Clearly, Instant Messaging (IM), a form of real-time direct text-based communication between people, is one of the most popular applications on the Internet. Though its popularity grew in the late nineties, it actually first started in the public in the late eighties. Though it was much more intricate and convenient then, people were talking to each other simply by typing words on a screen-a revolution in their daily lives.
Whereas basic messaging programs such as Buddy Buddy were emerging in Korea, American instant messaging programs such as AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) and MSN Messenger started to establish themselves domestically in America and internationally around the world. After those, other messaging programs started to come about as well. These helped people to communicate with each other much more conveniently.
In 2003, an entirely new different messaging system was created-Skype. No longer were Internet users limited to typing words onto a screen. In fact, we can now talk to each other and even see each other. Though it was not the first, Skype popularized Internet calling and video chatting. Thanks to this, people are able to communicate with each other in a much less distant manner; its almost as if they were right next to each other.
Today, the vast majority of the instant messaging programs have many applications. No longer are we limited to chatting with each other, but we can virtually be with the person we are talking to; we can chat, talk, video chat, and even play games with each other - essentially everything we need to feel as if our friends were right next to us. Without a doubt, many people never imagined that we had access to such things as we do today. Who knows what lies ahead of us The future of Instant Messaging simply excites us.