There are about six or seven, yes that many, people who message me on a daily or semi-daily average with messages like:
Person: what's up?
I realise some of you are new to IM so let me hip you to a few rules and regulations so you don't appear like a total jackass or annoy people with a lot less patience than me.
This isn't just me either, this was the norm for the 90s and early 2000s. If you want to maintain IM friendships follow these rules and standards, otherwise you'll find people think you're an idiot or annoying.
1) When you IM someone and they don't reply, that means:
- they aren't there
- they are busy
- they don't want to talk to you.
You must wait *at least 24 hours* before sending another message again unless you have something different to say, and that means messages with substance, saying hello 10 different ways is meaningless. I and other old schoolers will ignore you.
2) Shooting the shit and talking about nothing is fine, but only when both people have the time to, so unless you have something to say (see #5) then just wait until they're ready.
3) "Are you there?" is a nonsensical question, because if I was and wanted/could talk to you, I would. Don't ask it ever.
4) Sending the same message over and over is as weird and psychotic and leaving the same answering machine message (or voice mail) message over and over. Unless you're the crazed boyfriend of an actress' daughter in a Lifetime Original Movie, don't do that.
5) Only send chat invites to people that you are *in active conversation with*. Not a day goes by I don't get at least 3 to sometimes 10, yes ten, chat invites over and over from people I either haven't spoken to in days or people I don't know. My primary client doesn't even support chat, so you're just disrupting me and pissing me off.
6) If you have something to say, for god's sake just say it, don't wait until there's been a SYN-ACK of hellos and how are yous. This is fine if it falls into #2, but then you have to wait until the other party is not busy, stop sending them messages.
I follow the old school ways and I think that's fitting for an old school service:
1) If I message someone it's because I have something to say, not because I am shooting the shit about whether or not I should eat cheese balls (yes, a random person messaged me about that retarded nonsense the other day, I never have spoken to them before). Talking about nothing is fine but as stated above, both people have to be willing to do it.
2) If they don't reply, I don't message them again unless I have something *totally different to say* or 24 hours have passed.
3) If someone leaves mid-conversation, I assume they're busy or something else and I just leave it there. The amazing thing about IM, just as email, conversations can begin and end over long periods of time.
4) I ignore people who message bomb me like they're a 12 year old girl obsessed with the big man on campus... or hell 12 year old boy obsessed with the big man on campus for that matter... if you want to say hello 30 times, try setting up an echo server, it will say hello back to you, and you can do it all day and I don't have to hear it.
I like chatting, I like meeting people, it's nothing I can't handle, but I don't like movies being interrupted with chat invites and I don't like waking up to 10 - 15 IMs from the same people saying "hello", "hi", etc. If you have something to say, say it, otherwise just wait a little-damn-while and I'll get back to you when I have time to shoot the shit.