Apparently there are still some people out there in cyber land who does not get the basics of using an instant messenger program. Even though this is not a new technology it must still be confusing to some users. To help you out, here are some basic do’s and don’ts:
* Do sign on only when you actually want to talk with people.
* Do make good use of your away messages. You can set a custom status for a reason.
* Do not include your phone number in your instant messenger away message unless you actually want to be called.
* Do not use your IM while you are impaired by any chemical substance.
* Do not try to hold more than 3 conversations simultaneously, you will get confused quickly.
* Do not send messages to people with an away status just to check in. If they are set to away then do not want to be bothered.
* Do not pretend to be someone that you aren’t. It is just annoying.
There you have it, some basic rules.
It happens every once and awhile. Maybe you were tired or distracted. Whatever the reason you clicked on the wrong name. It is a minor faux pas in the grand scheme of things, but just in case here are steps for handling the situation.
If you realize at the beginning of a conversation here are your options:
- Have a brief chat on a topic that is actually relevant to your unintended chat partner.
- Explain that you miss clicked and apologize for interrupting them.
If you realized in the middle of a conversation here are some options:
- Apologize for getting off on a tangent and re-orient the conversation.
- Fess up to your case of mistaken identity and explain the similarity in user names that caused the confusion.
If you figured it out at the end of the conversation then the damage is already done.
Have you ever been involved in an IM chat like this?
Tommyboy187 (9:38pm): Hi
PrincessK09 (9:38pm): Hi
Tommyboy187 (9:46pm): What’s new?
PrincessK09 (9:47pm): Not much, just finishing up my Lit project. You?
Tommyboy187 (9:59pm): Not much
The person starts a conversation then takes at least 5 minutes to respond to postings. It is irksome. Imagine, just for a second, that this was a phone call. You would hang up with that long of a pause. It’s rude. Bottom line, if you start a conversation respond promptly and engage actively in the conversation. It’s just good manners. If something came up then excuse yourself.