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USA Instant Messaging/Social Networking

So I'm just wondering a coupple of IM/Internet related things.

Do all people in the US use AIM or is Windows Live Messenger(MSN) or Yahoo used at all?

Related to that, what 'net speak' is generally used? Will every other word be shortened or do people actually talk in whole sentances? Things such as lol, wtf and omg obviously go but what else?

And finally; Does everyone use MySpace exclusively? Or do some people use Bebo or FaceBook or something else?

I'm mostly thinking high school/college age people about 14 to 24-ish.

Oh, actually one more thing. Do college students live in dorms for their whole time? Or do they move out after the first year like we do?

Sorry lots of things in one post.


( 27 people helped — Oooh! I know! )
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:07 pm (UTC)
we mostly use aim, i'm gonna say 85% of the time, altho sidekicks in the usa come with aim, msn & y!

uh i can't help you with acronyms. it depends on the person. new, scenish acronyms are:

tbh: to be honest
tbqh: to be quite honest
pls: please
~: used for emphasis bc of an error on kicks (~scene queenz omg!)

uni students usually move out after their second year unless they become resident advisors.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC)
Do most people use sidekicks then? Over here they're so expensieve no one's even heard of them.


Edited at 2008-02-22 09:16 pm (UTC)
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
they're pretty expensive here too (around 200-400$US even with a plan), but most band kids have one, ranging from the sidekick 1 colour to the new lx. i own the lx.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the SK slide here is £40 plus the £37.50 a month plan so I'm thinking I could probably manage to give the guys one.
Although if I remember Panic! didn't get theirs til they met Pete/got signed.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 10:14 pm (UTC)
that is right. brendon has an iphone and spence has the lx, as does pete, who has both the iphone and the lx.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Great, thanks
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)
Most of my friends in the US use AIM or Y! and most of them are capable of full sentences. XD
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Great, thanks.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
20yo college chick sez:
I use AIM the most, followed by Y!M and then, only occasionally, MSN. I use GTalk more often than MSN.

I feel like netspeak is actually pretty universal, but other people may have specifically American terms.

Facebook is hugely popular, especially among college students. Myspace is also pretty popular. I don't even know what Bebo is.

At many schools, students do live in dorms until they graduate, or only move off campus as seniors. And many schools require freshmen to live in the dorms unless they are living with family. But this is far from universal; if you're writing about a specific college or type of college, I could give you better info.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
Re: 20yo college chick sez:
Thanks, I wasn't sure about the net speak one. I have one friend that constantly talks in two letter sentances so I figured I'd better check!

Bebo is almost a cross between myspace and facebook I guess</a>. Mainly the site of choice for Irish people.

At the moment it's pretty general I'm just starting to plot out some stuff and wanted to get the general facts straight.
The college!AU has been done a lot in bandom but I'm trying my hand at it.
Feb. 23rd, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
Re: 20yo college chick sez:
Bebo is really popular in New Zealand too.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
everything you posted totally varies from person to person. On my mom's PC I used MSN but not AIM. On my Mac, I only use AIM.

I generally type in full sentences, unless I'm joking with friends, but sometimes I shorten my words or whatever to make it easier. I'm kind of hxc as far as grammar and spelling go though.

Nearly everyone I know has both a Myspace and a Facebook. A few I know have Bebo, but it's nowhere near as popular as the other two.

Also, as far as dorms go, it totally depends on the person and the financial situation etc... I personally will probably never live in a dorm. I live with family at the moment and I'm getting an apartment this summer. Some will live in a dorm the whole time, some will only stay a year or two.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:26 pm (UTC)
Right, thanks. I'm thinking I'll stick with AIM, I know web-caming doesn't work on MSN on Macs and I'm pretty sure Ryan Ross has/would have one, I know Patrick swears by his.

So if you had say a scholarship (Ryan again) would that include the cost of rent on a dorm?

Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:29 pm (UTC)
Scholarships and student loans cover the cost of tuition and dorms, but I got some financial aid/scholarships and just put it towards tuition. It all depends.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:43 pm (UTC)
Okay. So I can just stick him in there. That's handy.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
Everyone I know in the States uses AIM. The only people I can think of who use other programs are friends outside the country. Most of my friends have both Facebook and Myspace, I can't say I know of anyone using Bebo. The majority of my friends do not use netspeak, or if they do it's limited to lol and brb. I find that people I've met through livejournal use a lot more netspeak than say, friends I made in college.

Most kids move out of the dorms after sophmore year, unless they stay on as RAs (resident advisors, a kind of in-house peer counseling/floor administrator type deal, has lots of side benefits with regards to housing lotteries, etc). Some schools have freshman-specific dorms, lots of places will let you make a theme floor or theme suite (a group of rooms that shares amenities). Some campuses have theme housing which allows you to live with a group of friends in a house or an apartment on campus that is technically not part of a dorm. Those are usually hard to get into. Lots of kids get places off-campus, though that process is fraught with frustration, especially in major cities like New York and Boston.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
Right, AIM it is I think.

That's great, thanks. I think I'm going to have them start in dorms so they can meet but then move out eventually.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC)
This may not actually be useful to you but here you go just in case. Since it sounds like your research is for a fic, I'd also offer up the following information. While students move off-campus, many of them will still purchase a meal plan so they can eat at the dining hall or whatever other food spots there are on campus. When I was a freshman, I was required to have a meal plan, this was true I believe for anyone at my school living in a dorm. Once I moved into apartment-style housing and had a full kitchen, the meal plan was no longer required.

There are usually several meal plans, for example: 1) three meals a day for seven days a week, 2) two meals a day for six days a week, 3) five meals per week. That's something you can use, too, if you want an off-campus kid to run into an on-campus one. If he or she doesn't have enough time to go home and eat between classes (or is just too lazy), if they've got a meal plan they could meet up in the dining hall. Or in the cafe or the grill, there's usually several places to eat on any campus and they tend to serve different kinds of food, too.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Yeah, what I affectionately call the Bandom College AU of Doom.

I didn't know you had meal plans, we just go into the cafe and buy what ever when ever. Although mine's not a campus uni and we have kitchens in our dorm flats. We also tend to end up in Starbucks though.

So if you buy a meal plan you can just eat when ever, depending on the plan, without having to pay when you're there?

Feb. 22nd, 2008 10:16 pm (UTC)
Ahahaha, nice title ;)

The thing is, meal plans and kitchens-in-dorms vary greatly from college to college, even just dorm to dorm. Example: one of my good friends went to Columbia U in NYC. His dorm had a common room with a sink and a cabinet, a microwave and a refrigerator. That's pretty standard. My freshman year dorm had the same. Another dorm on campus had stovetops and an oven. Another dorm just had stovetops. We both had a student id card, which you swiped to buy food, much like a credit card. His meal plan was done in points, which he could buy more of any time he wanted. My meal plan could only be changed at the beginning of each semester and I couldn't use it at, say, the campus cafe. His could be used anywhere on campus, whether he was charging for a meal (fixed number of points) or a snack at the cafe (certain number of points for an apple, a sandwich, a drink, etc). This sort of thing can be very complicated so I suggest choosing a college and setting your story there, then doing crazy research on that one place.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
Righty ho, looks like I've got a lot more to research than I thought. This means I've got to choose a college soon-ish for them.
I guess UNLV would be easiest, seing as Ryan actually went there, but then I've got to get the chicago boys there somehow. Too many possibilities.

The swipe cards is similar to what we have. Our student ID gets us into out flats and we charge print outs and photocopies to it in the library.

Thanks for the info.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 11:07 pm (UTC)
Depending on the college, your id might get you into a building. At Columbia, you had to show it to the guards and sign yourself in and out. That's standard for city dorms. Another colleges I visited, you had a master key to the dorm and then a key to your suite. And another, your student id got you into the building, then into the wing, then into your suite, THEN into your room. Lots of locks there ;) My dorm just had old-fashioned keys.

You're welcome! Feel free to ask more questions, I'll do my best to answer.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
For the record, I'm 20, lived in the US my entire life. I'm most familiar with the culture of college students at large, private, selective universities, and less familiar with college life at smaller or less selective schools.

Most of my friends use AIM almost exclusively. If someone were to give me their IM handle, I'd assume it was for AIM. Netspeak, in my experience, varies hugely from person to person - almost everyone uses 'brb' and such, but a lot of the people I talk to on IM use mostly standard grammar. I suspect the 'shorten every word' thing is much more common in texting.

There's an interesting paper somewhere on the web about the MySpace/Facebook divide, and who is likely to be on what. (Googling should find it - I've got to run, or I'd link.) In general, I am surprised when I look up a classmate and find they don't have a Facebook page. I've never heard of Bebo, so there's a piece of data for you.

Dorm living is something that varies hugely from campus to campus. Many schools (but by no means all!) will require freshmen to live on campus, although I think this is less common among state schools. At the school I go to, most people live on campus or in frats for all four years, but there are lots of places where students move out after the first year. If you've got a school (or type of school) in mind, statistics on the percent of students living on campus should be fairly easy to find.

....I think my answer is longer than your question. O.o
Feb. 22nd, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
Definately going for AIM. I can't really see these guys using all the much net speek really, especially with what I making them major in.

I'm thinking Bebo os more an European thing.

I'll definately have a scrounge round for some stats then.

Feb. 23rd, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
Pretty much anyone in high school has a Myspace, and a lot of people have Facebook too. I don't know anyone who uses Bebo.

Netspeak varies from person to person. I know people who type like they're going to get a grade on it, and then there are people who will type a huge block of text with no commas or periods at all, and shorten/misspell most of their words.
And don't forget all the fun emoticons! :D
Feb. 23rd, 2008 05:59 am (UTC)
You've basically been told this already, but I thought I'd put in my two cents. I got to a public, state, big name/Big Ten university (40 thousand students, undergrad and graduate). We were required to live in the dorms our freshmen year, unless you already had residency in the city. However, a friend of mine, who also goes to a public, state school, had to live in the dorms for two years. It usually depends on how much money the school needs to bleed from their undergrads, since living in the dorms is much more expensive (on most campuses), then living in an apartment. Ie: food is overpriced in most dorm cafeterias, for example.

And wow. If you've got any other US college questions, let me know! I second all the AIM and Facebook people; it seems like most kids grow out of Myspace.
Feb. 23rd, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)
( 27 people helped — Oooh! I know! )


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