Advantages and Disadvantages of an Instant Messenger

Instant messaging has been widely used with the power of internet, people can use an IM talk to family, friends, co-workers, even make new friends, join a interesting discussion or chat room through internet, in this way, people can talk to anyone in the world. As a rule for almost everything, while there are advantages, there are also downsides to instant messenger or IMs. In this article, we will take a look at the advantages and the disadvantages of this instant technology.


There are many advantages to using instant messenger. It connects people regardless where they are actually located. In the company, colleagues can send and reply instant message in real time without face to face, meanwhile the work report can be shared during the instant chat session; the IM can make a virtual conference without get all the related people together in a physical meeting room. People can speak to multiple people in the virtual conference, share ideas and get conclusions. People on a business trip can contact the co-works inside the company through IM as well. What’s more, the staff can talk to customers or vendors online as well, in other word, now people can do business through the instant messenger direct rather than use the traditional method like make phone calls.


There are of course disadvantages of instant messaging. While the real time response is great, IMs do take away the face to face, personal experience that people have when they are speaking to someone in person. You can't really get a very good emotional bead on someone through IM nor are you sure of who you are talking to through IM, which can be dangerous if you aren't careful. Other disadvantages include -

Uncertainty that the person you are talking to is the person you are talking to, especially when you are not very familiar with the things and risks of the internet. This can be dangerous. Also your computer may be attacked of viruses due to you may accidentally receive some files from the unknown people or click a disguised URL.

In company environment, there will be potential for misuse. People in workplaces may use the IMs during work time to chat with friends and waste time or even bring the possible virus from outside.

There are also some security risks like the content of the instant message may be intercepted. As a result the sensitive data like customer list, sales report may be revealed on the internet.

In conclusion, if you will use an IM inside the company, you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of the instant messenger as mentioned above and select an enterprise level instant messenger will be a good choice since most of the IMs offer strong encryption of the instant messaging transferred. If you will use an IM with friends and family, please do not receive files from the people unknown.