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Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Computer Basics by Michael Miller

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29. Sending and Receiving Instant Messages

People like to talk—even when they’re online.

When you want to hold a private one-on-one talk, you use an application called instant messaging. When you instant message, or IM, someone, you send a short text-based message directly to that person. It’s a way of keeping in touch when you’re online—and everybody’s doing it!

Understanding Instant Messaging

Instant messaging lets you communicate one on one, in real time, with your friends, family, and colleagues. It’s faster than email and less chaotic than chat rooms. It’s just you and another user—and your instant messaging software.

Caution

Instant messaging only works ...

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