When my generation was younger, we had a computer class in school. Basically, it gave our teachers a break, and we played Oregon Trail. If that happened today, I imagine they would be playing something like War Of The Worlds. Soon we grew up and actually started learning how to use the computer, and typing. I can type "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" like 38 times in a minute, but I didn't learn that from Computer class. IMing was my teacher
I spent more time online chatting with my friends, then I did in the flesh with my friends. Yes, I am guilty of going into chat room and answering the ASL? 14(I was 11)/female/Seattle(Tacoma). Don't worry Mom and Dad, I only did it a few times, and I didn't inhale.
I believe it was this technology that paved the way for the reign of text messaging. It got us comfortable with communicating through cyberspace. Now, if we are surrounded by a group of people, we talk to everyone else, but those who are in the room. 5th graders have cell phones and LOVE to send mass texts of, "Send this to 10 friends, or our will have bad luck." I remember when those used to come in emails!
These poor kids today are missing out on IM. How are they going to learn to type papers? Will they just text them to their teachers?