Real-time Text Transmission via Web, short: IM
Messaging more popular than E‑Mail
As different as people are their communication preferences …
- one likes to write a lot and even keeps the correspondence for years
- the other is terribly lazy about writing, but loves to jaw with friends
- many people who are lazy about writing like to chat, even though they also have to hit the keys
So for some the good old e-mail is the favourite medium, for others the telephone and those who can rarely meet friends/relatives in person (e.g. due to long distance) may use video calls (became affordable through mobile messengers).
Instant Messaging (IM) was invented in 1996 and initially only used stationary on PCs. In the 2010s, IM was replaced by mobile messengers.
I never used it back then. For me, e-mail was the most popular means of communication. This was also because e-mail clients are similar to the FidoNet editors I used to communicate with before the invention of the WWW. Even back then, the message editor GoldEd was more convenient than today's e-mail clients.
Ordinary E-Mails are not secure
Due to the Global surveillance disclosures at the beginning of 2013, we know: all unencrypted transmitted emails are read and evaluated.
Very few mail servers are configured to transmit emails only if the recipient's mail server also uses transport encryption.
Many security-conscious people use a data-saving messenger app as an alternative, although there is actually no need for chat and video telephony.
Since messages are stored on the server in encrypted form until they are viewed by the recipient, a messenger can also serve as a substitute for e-mail, SMS, MMS and answering machine. Messages can be stored and transmitted as audio files. The latter is very popular nowadays, especially among young people.
Careful Selection of the Instant Messaging Service
You don't just want to send irrelevant stuff with your messenger. You quickly get used to the comfortable, fast communication and simple operation of this one app. The plan to write «only unimportant things via messenger A» and use «only messenger B for confidential things» will not really work. Sooner rather than later, people will accidentally use «the wrong app» for confidential information. It becomes annoying to decide whether something is too private for one messenger or the other. It's like business mobile phones: although the employer can see everything if he wants to, a lot of private calls are made.
Over time, the messaging service becomes «indispensable» and you trust it with everything: You send and receive confidential documents, photos or videos.
In the address book you not only have telephone numbers, but also very private things about the contacts. All this must not fall into the hands of strangers!
Human Right to Privacy
It is not only your own privacy that goes to hell when you use (a)social networks! All contact data that you save on your smartphone is siphoned off by Facebook, Whatsapp & Co. That's what their terms and conditions say! Most smartphone users simply nod their heads in agreement - for business use, this is considered a gross violation of the EU GDPR! For private individuals, it is disregard for the privacy of their fellow human beings, who themselves avoid such anti-social services.
- do WhatsApp users have no qualms about their friends' personal data being commercially exploited by Facebook?
- why don't users of WA, FB and similar data octopuses realise that they are betraying their friends?!