Instant Messaging – How to play in polite society

I’m a fan of instant messaging. And email. And voice mail. Pretty much anything that doesn’t interrupt me unless it’s a convenient time for me.

I use instant messaging as a primary communication method between myself and most of my friends, my work colleagues, and many of my other business contacts as well.

So with that in mind, a few random complaints.

  1. If I don’t respond the second you message me, I might be busy doing something. I might be on the phone, getting a drink refill, or even in the middle of typing a message to you.

    Give me a bit of time before going ape-shit that I’m not answering, k?

  2. Don’t message me and go offline within 30 seconds, then later bitch at me that I never answer you.

    Luckily for both of us, I can solve this complaint very easily, if you’re no longer able to message me, there won’t be any ambiguity about whether or not I’ll answer next time.

  3. If I’m set to “Away” it means I’m not here right now.

    If it’s important, feel free to email me, phone me or otherwise get in touch, otherwise, leave a message and I’ll get back to you when I have time.

    Again, complaining that I never answer you is not likely to increase your odds of seeing me online in the future.

  4. If I’m set to “Busy”, it means I’m busy.

    See: Away.

  5. I’m sure you think vibrating windows are all the rage.  I don’t.  Luckily for me, I use an IM client that just logs the event and do anything stupid. 

    Excessive nudging, sending “???” over and over, or otherwise nagging or badgering me until I answer just tells me you think your time is more important then my time, and the “block” feature was invented to solve this very problem.

  6. If you’re marked as “away”, I will assume that you are away. Weird.

    If you’re marked as “busy” then I will assume that you are, get this, busy!

    If you can’t figure out how to set your status, let me know, I’d be more then happy to walk you through step by step.

    If you tell me up front that you’re too busy to talk right now, don’t be surprised if I respect your wishes don’t bother you unless it’s important

Now hopefully I am not coming across as a giant ass, but if so, please feel free to remove me from your contact list and use email instead, k?

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