The same thing happened seven years ago with the live-typing
feature that I implemented in iChat 1.0 (which was only supported
for Bonjour chats.) I thought it was an awesome idea, and I’d
wanted to have it in a chat program since about 1997. But it
turned out that, in actual use, people hated it, for exactly the
reasons Manjoo describes: it makes you self-conscious. We took it
out in the next release.
I never mind instant updating when I use SubEthaEdit to collaboratively edit a text file, but I can’t think of a good reason Google Wave uses it other than the demo factor.