I’m hooked on IM again. I haven’t used it this much since high school. I’d say it’s ridiculous, but I’m enjoying the ability to connect with people. As friends move away and get married it’s getting harder to stay in touch even by phone, so I’m filling some of the void with digital communications. Plus, it’s helping me keep in touch with some people who do live in my area and coordinate real life meetings.
It’s not the first time I’ve ever used IM in such a manner, but it’s strange getting back to it. When I think back, I’ve actually developed a few good friendships with people primarily through the usage of IM. A few guys I met on IRC and then started IMing instead back when I watched anime nonstop. I keep in touch with a few of ’em on IM and Facebook now even though I initially met them seven years ago. A good friend of mine from Colorado I originally met when he lived in Germany, I was at Nebraska, and we were both in the same warez channel on IRC. I’ve given up those ways (pirates are *evil*) a long time ago, but I forged a great friendship out of a completely random encounter.