1) Status Igorance
Anyone who starts an IM with the word’s ‘I know your status says busy but…’ or “when you aren’t away…’ needs to take a good hard look at themselves.
Anyone who’s been midway through a PowerPoint presentation only to find their away/busy status ignored and a roomful of people wondering if your friends are idiots will know the pain.
2) Stupid name
Unless you are tweenie there really is no excuse for having an IM name that consists almost entirely of emoticons.
Yes the bat flaps his wings and yes the winky icon actually winks – but if you for one second think that having them in your display name is a good idea then, my friend, you are guilty of an IM faux pas.
Secondly – if you call yourself ‘Man of Steel’ ‘God’ etc then you are just as guilty.
3)Too many emoticons
Instant Messenger programmes often give you the option to replace certain phrases or groups of letters with your emoticon.
This sounds fun at first, but when you start to find that you have replaced every syllable of the English language with a flashing bear or firing rocket you may well find that your messages read like hieroglyphics – where nobody has the rosetta stone.
4) Pretending you’re offline
Do you pretend you are offline when you’re not? Why? Why? And again why?
If you don’t like the people enough on your list to want to speak to them then block them. If you don’t want to be contacted really go offline
5) Cliché profile pic
Got a Simpsons avatar as your display picture? Or the bloke from the Fatboy slim album? Do you have a kitten of the day picture? *shudder*
Maybe you should think outside the cliché.
6) Rude profile messages
Want to make yourself a social outcast? Then slag off your friends/boss/family on your status.
A related faux pas is to put in your holiday destination and then leave it there for a smug fortnight to annoy your friends.
7) Using too much text speak
Not only do you have waaaay more space to use real language in IM, as opposed to texting, you also get to have a conversation.
Nobody is expecting perfect punctuation (well, actually quite a few people do) but why not try to assemble whole words with both consonants AND vowels – magic.
Also, you aren’t going to be cut out of your social circle for the occasional LOL but if you find that more than half of your sentences contain some form of acronym then you should really think about writing out whole phrases.
8) Terminally busy
You know the kind of person – always on, always busy. Because obviously nobody else is…
9) Messaging the wrong person
If you ask people their most embarrassing mistake it is normally accidentally sending a message to the wrong person. Sometimes this is because they have the same name as a loved one, or, even worse, some people have been gossiping about someone and accidentally pinged them in a case of Freudian justice.
10) Badgering people to switch on their webcam
This is normally committed by those who have just invested in a new laptop with a built in camera, or splashed out on the latest 3 megapixel offering – but unfortunately, people need to realise that constantly badgering their ‘IM buddy to enable their webcam’ is exceedingly irritating.
There’s a reason why video phones never caught on you know…
11) IMing someone sat within earshot
Okay, the art of conversation may be on the wane, but there is absolutely no excuse for holding a conversation over IM when the person you are talking to is in earshot.
If you are gossiping about someone else in earshot then it’s even worse, and certainly no excuse!
12) Constantly sending out funny links
If I’m on my computer I am very rarely not doing anything – which means that someone who sends me a constant barrage of ‘comedy’ links that he found through stumbleupon tend to be an annoyance rather than a buddy.
If I want to find funny links I’m sure that the mountain of ‘comedy’ e-mails I get on a daily basis will suffice.
13) Nudging people
Nobody is entirely sure why ‘nudge’ was put into messenger, but a straw poll of our office suggests that even less people would put up a fight if they took it back out again.
One workmate confessed to me that he adds another 30 seconds of waiting time before replying to anyone who has nudged him in an attempt to elicit a response.
14) Inappropriate conversation
Repeat after me: It is NOT okay to dump someone over instant messenger.
I was shocked to find out that this actually happens – and normally the dumper then blocks the dumpee so that they can’t discuss the decision.
Wow that’s cold.
Also falling into this category are people who ignore the message not to give out passwords / credit card details over IM