instant rant

This is a rant. You have been warned. You have also been warned that I really don’t expect anyone else on the planet to find the same things I do important and/or annoying. So there’s no need to get all worked up and send me snooty emails, unless that really bobs your balaban, in which case, I think you should send me snooty emails every Thursday at noon.

On with the rant. Comments accepted, against my better judgment, so don’t hold back!

I have noticed recently that there is a suspicious lack of tact and patience within the instant messaging paradigm. This would be fine if I didn’t have 439 names on my various IM “buddy lists”. (I just tallied that number up, after deleting 30 contacts earlier this evening.) Okay, no it wouldn’t be fine. It would still annoy me. I was trying to be nice about it, but what the hell?

I suppose I have a unique situation in that I also have webcams, so people who know both my IM handles and my webcam URL can see when I am at the computer and send me an instant message. And then wait approximately 30 seconds before becoming annoyed with me when I do not respond.

This even after I have an away message set — with an auto-response, even — that clearly indicates my inability to respond immediately.

So I put up with some extremely rude people who think it’s within their “right” as Instant Message Writers Extraordinaire to attack me for not being 100% available and excited to talk Right Frigging Now.

I am going to let you in on a non-secret. My job involves interacting with people, oftentimes rude and ignorant people, for nine hours a day, five days a week, and sometimes more. When I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is make idle chit-chat. Some days, I don’t even want to talk at all. During my precious weeknight free time, I’m working, reading news, researching, updating webpages, playing a game, or writing. Very infrequently am I doing something that doesn’t require at least a modicum of concentration. I realize that other people spend time messing around online, and figure that if I’m online, I must be just messing around.

Again, we get back to that away message thing. The away message does not lie. If it says “writing and will not respond”, that’s what it means. If it says “boiling the flesh from those who harass me via IM”, maybe you shouldn’t message me right then. Just a thought.

Your questions, which I will ask for you:

  1. Why don’t you just refrain from logging in? There are exactly five people — my boyfriend, my two closest friends, and my parents — who should be able to reach me whenever possible. I also have several acquaintances spread out throughout the globe who occasionally drop a hello and tell me how they are doing. Should I refrain from being in touch with these people merely because some folks don’t have any manners?
  2. Why don’t you just remain in “invisible” mode? Adium does not currently support this mode. As soon as it does, I’ll be in it. I would switch clients, but it’s superior to all the other OS X ones in every other way.
  3. Why don’t you just block people? Adium doesn’t support this either, yet.
  4. Why are you whining about too many people wanting to talk to you? Why are you reading my journal? Move along!
Even if you don’t care a whit about my specific situation, you might want to think about how you treat people on your own buddy lists. If you call up a friend on the phone, and she says she can’t talk right now, do you sarcastically respond with, “Well fine! I’m so sorry I interrupted you! Have you ever considered just not even having a phone at all, if you’re not going to talk to me whenever I call you?” No. You say, “Okay, we’ll talk some other time.”

What in the name of the Great Smiley-Face Emoticon in the Sky is so difficult about that?

By the way, this isn’t a passive-aggressive post. This post is actively aggressive. Make no mistake, and accept no substitutes.

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