A driver's license for Instant Messengers.

As George Carlin so aptly put it:

"I don't have pet peeves, I have major psychotic fucking hatreds, okay? And it makes the world a lot easier to sort out."

When you eat, do you chew with your mouth open? Do you leave inaccurate messages on your Answering machine? Do you fill in "LOL My flower has died!!1" in the name field of your library card? Okay the latter may actually be obscure and weird enough to get my liking, but appreciate the analogy, work with me here. It's not so damn hard to handle an IM-client, an instant Messenger like AIM, ICQ, MSN, Pago-Pago, Bohoo Messenger or whatnot, there's a plethora of them. What most of them have in common is that you can set a status message, and I'm so tired of the blunt social ineptitude of many of their users. Here's a little manual for those of you that are the Internet's 'special children':

A status message is used to describe your current status. If you're around, if you're busy, very occupied et.c. These are there to tell people if they can talk to you or not. Easy concept, doesn't take a science degree to figure out. Most clients have an auto-away function if you happen to wander away from the computer and haven't set a specific message. Very easy. If you're busy, put yourself in busy mode to show people that you may or may not have the time to answer and if they have any common sense at all they'll either think twice about leaving a message, especially if it's just another youtube link or a "fuhneeh pecteeer!", or at least not implicitly expect you to read your message/click that link right away - or at all. If you're using the same status message constantly no matter if you're at the computer or not, I can only pray you don't stuff your food into your nose by mistake, because you're obviously struggling with basic manners here.

Some messengers have a comment field. This can be used to further describe what you are doing. For instance, you're busy but will reply when you have the time. Fine, tell them that in the comment field. Many a user seems to think this field is meant to put a totally context-less Latin/Japanese phrase in it to look smart or they might decide to put a comment in and leave it there to pass best before date. Just by looking right now I have a friend who put "Today we open the store!". He's had it for a week now. Another one has "fucking shit", because a couple of days ago he had to return a new jacket that turned out to have a rip in it. Remember I don't have any pet peeves? Right. So Mikael, GET FUCKING OVER IT ALRIGHT - BOO HOO! :).

Name field. This seems to be a tricky one for some people. It's for putting your name or nickname in so people can identify you on their list. It doesn't take many brain cells to see the difference from the comment field. For instance, my good friend Mike seems to currently have the nickname "...You can't milk a cow with your hands in your pockets". I guess it was way too hard to find the comment field.

A further note on statuses: Respect your friends status messages! If your friend is in say DND mode, you MIGHT want to actually do that. Three simple words tells the tale! Do...not...disturb. If he or she talks to you they might be generally occupied and find the time to talk to you specifically but not everyone on their list.

If you have complaints on this. Then please take your skewered, three letter acronym soiled English and go play Counterstrike again.


Anonymous said...

Good points all, and I'll echo them.

Also, for extra points, here's something I've learned recently:

Some clients apparently can't handle status modes. Instead, they just display the custom message. This means that people using those (undoubtedly crippled but apparently preferable) clients won't see your N/A or Occupied mode. To bridge this, I've taken to adding the status mode as the first bit in the custom message - that is something like "Occupied: I'm bloody writing, all right?"

This isn't handling protocols for nuclear launch controls. It's not really a big deal if you forget to change your message once in a while. We all do. Just make sure you don't do it every bloody time!

Anonymous said...

You suck, and btw - I had the jacket repaired. (Oh look, a three-letter acronym) :D

Anonymous said...

Well said, and Carlin is indeed really fucking good.

Anyhoo, I've always been irritated by the behaviour some poeple have, to (usually) always be "away". Most of them don't really need the computer on if they're away for (what seems like) really long trips, so shut the fucking computer off, jerk!

However, being one of those who've lived abroad twice, for half a year each time, with the computer at the apartment still online 24/7, I've pretty much always respected and used the status indicators.

However, this changed a few months ago when I started to work remotely (from another country than the company's, basically). My slight persecution mania caused me to "have to" be online even though I was away. It started when I used to take showers in the late forenoons, and it continued to shopping, sleeping etc, when I wanted it to look like I was online, working.
My boss is on my contact list, unless you figured that out already.

So, it's rather effective to always be online, since the boss won't know I'm not working.

But I do indeed understand your major fucking psychotic hatreds here. Perhaps we should take these IM status violators and

let them beat the crap out of each other until there's only one of them alive, and we put him on a pedestal and shoot him in the fucking head!

-- George Carlin on "Men"

Which pretty much illustrates the psychotic hatred.