IM = Social Rudeness

I hate instant messengers these days. The reason I hate them is because people don’t have any courtesy when they use them. They think that because it’s just a form of online social networking that they don’t have to use the common courtesy that they use with people with whom they are speaking face to face. Here’s some of the stuff that’s been nagging me lately about IMs:

Scenario 1: You see a friend online on your IM. You send them a HI. They respond and you start talking. Then your friend just stops answering you. After 10 or 15 minutes go by, you wonder if they are on the phone or working or something. However, an hour or more goes by and you notice that the person still shows as online, yet you never once got an explanation from them for why they stopped talking to you.

Scenario 2: You see someone online. They do not have a busy message up. You send them a message and they snap back at you, telling you that they are busy.

Scenario 3: Someone sees you online. They send you a message. You talk for a few minutes and then they just stop, like in #1 above.

Scenario 4: Someone IMs you as soon as you come on, to ask you about someone else. No, how are you? No, are you busy? No anything. Just blurting out what they want, getting the answer and then, without a thank you, they stop talking to you.

There are a lot more scenarios. Those are just the top ones that several people have been perpetrating in my world lately. I know that IM software is buggy. Sometimes it shows people online when they are gone. I give people the benefit of the doubt… until those scenarios become regular occurrences.

So here’s the thing. Why is it that people feel it’s okay to be rude, because you’re talking to someone online and not on the phone or in person? In this age of technology, those scenarios up there are just as rude as hanging up on someone. Why do so many people not get that?

At any rate, here’s what I’d like to see the perpetrators of those scenarios do so that they stop pissing off me and others:

  • If you don’t want to talk to all the people on your IM list, make yourself invisible to the ones you DON’T want to speak to. Then, if they are courteous, they will not IM you.
  • If you do start talking to someone but become distracted by other IMs or Tweets, tell the person you gotta go, you are talking to someone else and you just can’t concentrate on all the convos. I don’t get pissed when people say this to me. I prefer to know that they’re busy with someone else rather than they can’t be bothered to tell me they don’t wanna talk to me anymore.
  • Start your IM convo by asking how the person is. If they are busy… this lets them know that you will not take offense if they don’t have time for you, and shows them that you aren’t just some rude SOB who lives in an egocentric world.
  • Use your busy or away message if you busy and/or away. Don’t just snap at people because YOU didn’t put up an alert or warning.
  • When you IM someone, and start a convo, don’t just stop talking because someone or something else is more interesting or more urgent. If you started the convo and you can’t continue it, then you need to end the convo. Tell the other person you have to go.
  • Don’t forget the common courtesy that was instilled in you as a child. The people online are just as real as the people you see every day face to face. They have feelings and they deserve to be treated with the same level of courtesy as any other person.

All of us have been the victim and the perpetrator in these instances I’ve depicted. I’ve started becoming more aware of how I treat others online because of the way I’ve been treated by a handful of people whom I thought – knew – were my friends. We all need to realize too that just because someone is your friend doesn’t mean they understand what is going on with you and isn’t hurt when you treat them rudely in IM.

I’m not sure how to solve these issues. I’m probably going to have to bite the bullet and send an email to all the perps because they don’t read my blog. I wanna be nice about it, but at the same time, it’s hard because I’m disappointed in their behavior. I don’t want people to be mad at me, but I also don’t want to feel bad when I speak to them in IM and they just don’t show me any courtesy. Obviously, it’s something that has to be tailored to each friend in an individual way, but I don’t like having to do it. I wish I could just understand how people can get like this. It reminds me of how people drop all their friends when they have a new love interest. It’s rude, and hurtful.

Ok, I’m stepping down from the soapbox. Do you have an IM or Twitter pet peeve? Something that common courtesy would resolve? Feel free to rant about it in comments.

Have happy social media Sunday!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to IM = Social Rudeness

  1. Winter says:

    Kapgar – I know what you mean. However, I use it more to talk to the Bar writers these days since we’re all over the world in different time zones. I try not to talk to the people who commit the crimes I listed above. Omitting them, my IM experiences are fine.

    Winters last blog post..Turn Up the A/C!

  2. Winter says:

    Kapgar – I know what you mean. However, I use it more to talk to the Bar writers these days since we’re all over the world in different time zones. I try not to talk to the people who commit the crimes I listed above. Omitting them, my IM experiences are fine.

    Winters last blog post..Turn Up the A/C!

  3. kapgar says:

    I try not to use IM for the same reasons you listed. It used to be cool and fun and all that jazz, but the novelty wore off damn quick.

    kapgars last blog post..Do you believe in magic…

  4. kapgar says:

    I try not to use IM for the same reasons you listed. It used to be cool and fun and all that jazz, but the novelty wore off damn quick.

    kapgars last blog post..Do you believe in magic…

  5. Winter says:

    Crys – Welcome! I used to feel guilty about having to end an IM convo. However, now I’ve gotten the habit of putting on a busy-I’m at the office sign. That way people know up front that I might not be able to talk or not be able to talk much. Since they know I’m at work, I expect them to realize that I might not be able to reply and may have to leave abruptly. I don’t think it’s rude to do those things if people know up front what your circumstances are. Now I don’t feel guilty if I have to bail. Oh, and the YouTube comments? Geez people can be so vicious. I’ve seen the rude ones at Imeem too. I think it’s mostly rude teens but I could be wrong.

  6. Winter says:

    Crys – Welcome! I used to feel guilty about having to end an IM convo. However, now I’ve gotten the habit of putting on a busy-I’m at the office sign. That way people know up front that I might not be able to talk or not be able to talk much. Since they know I’m at work, I expect them to realize that I might not be able to reply and may have to leave abruptly. I don’t think it’s rude to do those things if people know up front what your circumstances are. Now I don’t feel guilty if I have to bail. Oh, and the YouTube comments? Geez people can be so vicious. I’ve seen the rude ones at Imeem too. I think it’s mostly rude teens but I could be wrong.

  7. Crys says:

    i don’t IM anymore. i used to but as i’d be sitting there nine thousand messages would pop up and soon i wasn’t working anymore, i was talking to twenty people and feeling too badly about concluding conversations, because that is how nutty i am.

    my thing is YouTube comments. jesus, people troll videos just to find ways to internet-pummel. internet blood-sport. one must laugh; but srsly, does everybody feel better now for having bashed some unsuspecting whomever? go you!

    /rant

    (here by way of Hilly, btw)

    Cryss last blog post..Problem is

  8. Crys says:

    i don’t IM anymore. i used to but as i’d be sitting there nine thousand messages would pop up and soon i wasn’t working anymore, i was talking to twenty people and feeling too badly about concluding conversations, because that is how nutty i am.

    my thing is YouTube comments. jesus, people troll videos just to find ways to internet-pummel. internet blood-sport. one must laugh; but srsly, does everybody feel better now for having bashed some unsuspecting whomever? go you!

    /rant

    (here by way of Hilly, btw)

    Cryss last blog post..Problem is

  9. Winter says:

    Jack – I don’t think it’s technology. More and more people I meet are selfish and inconsiderate in person as well as online. It’s an epidemic. The egocentrics of the world are multiplying because no one is calling them to account for their behavior. No one wants to “own the problem” and say something. So when they (not you but the people who are rude) make the excuse that their rudeness is because of technology, no one tells them… BULLSHIT!

    Winters last blog post..We’ve Got Big Balls

  10. Winter says:

    Jack – I don’t think it’s technology. More and more people I meet are selfish and inconsiderate in person as well as online. It’s an epidemic. The egocentrics of the world are multiplying because no one is calling them to account for their behavior. No one wants to “own the problem” and say something. So when they (not you but the people who are rude) make the excuse that their rudeness is because of technology, no one tells them… BULLSHIT!

    Winters last blog post..We’ve Got Big Balls

  11. Jack says:

    Technology is wreaking havoc on manners in general.

    Jacks last blog post..Dad Did It Better

  12. Jack says:

    Technology is wreaking havoc on manners in general.

    Jacks last blog post..Dad Did It Better

  13. Winter says:

    Jason – If people know you’re at work, they should cut you some slack. Everyone I know, who knows when I am at work, also knows that if I don’t answer, I’m busy. Personally, if someone knows you’re at work and gets pissy with you for not answering… THAT is pretty fucking rude. We all gotta make a living after all.

  14. Winter says:

    Jason – If people know you’re at work, they should cut you some slack. Everyone I know, who knows when I am at work, also knows that if I don’t answer, I’m busy. Personally, if someone knows you’re at work and gets pissy with you for not answering… THAT is pretty fucking rude. We all gotta make a living after all.

  15. Jason X says:

    Winter, I confess, I’m guilty of a lot of these offenses. That’s why I only IM a couple of people. They still get pissed off at me, but have come to accept my rudeness. Mainly it’s because I IM at work. My office is like a train station. Work, not work, whatever, there are a million distractions. Sometimes I’ll ask a question on IM, then get completely distracted, come back an hour later only to find after the answer to my question:

    Hello?
    Are you there?
    WTF???
    Asshole.
    Fuck off.

    Only happens at work. Shit hits the fan fast here. Anyway, I thought I’d come clean. I am guilty and will most likely not change anytime in the near future… Sad but true…

  16. Jason X says:

    Winter, I confess, I’m guilty of a lot of these offenses. That’s why I only IM a couple of people. They still get pissed off at me, but have come to accept my rudeness. Mainly it’s because I IM at work. My office is like a train station. Work, not work, whatever, there are a million distractions. Sometimes I’ll ask a question on IM, then get completely distracted, come back an hour later only to find after the answer to my question:

    Hello?
    Are you there?
    WTF???
    Asshole.
    Fuck off.

    Only happens at work. Shit hits the fan fast here. Anyway, I thought I’d come clean. I am guilty and will most likely not change anytime in the near future… Sad but true…

  17. Winter says:

    Trysha – Well, we all have our dorky moments, but the people who do stuff habitually, whether they mean to or not, are the ones that are making me grit my teeth. I give people the benefit of the doubt for awhile until I see that it’s a habit of theirs to treat people this way.

    BTW Everyone – I’ve seen at least 2 other posts this week regarding common courtesy on and off the internet. How sad our world is!

  18. Winter says:

    Trysha – Well, we all have our dorky moments, but the people who do stuff habitually, whether they mean to or not, are the ones that are making me grit my teeth. I give people the benefit of the doubt for awhile until I see that it’s a habit of theirs to treat people this way.

    BTW Everyone – I’ve seen at least 2 other posts this week regarding common courtesy on and off the internet. How sad our world is!