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The rules of AIM

Hillary Thornton | Wednesday, December 1, 2004

We’re all addicted to AIM. It’s a given. It’s an easy way to make plans or take your mind off homework. Away message checking is the root of so much procrastination. The funny thing is that over half the people on your buddy list you never even talk to – they are solely there so you can check their away message. The idea of the away message is so ingenious that people are starting to use their white boards in the dorm as away message boards. I don’t really agree with this.

The white board is neither the time nor the place. It is for other people to leave you messages – a mailbox of sorts. Putting up an away message on a white board is like sending yourself mail. No one does that.

If we follow certain etiquette when actually conversing with people don’t you think that there should be some online etiquette as well? Me and my friends certainly do.

The No. 1 rule people should follow is avoid AIM ADD. The most annoying thing a person can do is IM you and then just leave and not respond. I absolutely hate when people do this. Why even IM you in the first place? Along with that, if you IM someone first, it’s your responsibility to carry the conversation. There is no excuse for saying, “Hey, what’s up?” and nothing else. And one word responses are never polite.

Second, it’s really rude to put up an away message when you’re having a conversation with someone without saying goodbye. It takes very little effort to type the three letters: B-Y-E.

It’s pretty much a given that LOL and hahaha are overused. I hate that. People just use that because they are lazy and don’t know what else to type.

Additionally, I think everyone agrees that the AIM ba-ding sound is incredibly irritating. I don’t even know why people keep the sound on. The absolute worst is when your roommate has the sound on. You wouldn’t just talk on the phone when someone is trying to concentrate or sleep, so why would you leave that annoying sound effect on?

Also, if someone leaves you a message when you are away, it is only polite to IM them back when you get back, even if they have an away message up. To not acknowledge their message is like not waving when someone waves to you while passing. And everyone knows how embarrassing that can be.

Additionally, there are some things that are inappropriate away message content. I hate when people write their whole day’s schedule on their away message. Nobody really cares that you have “class, class, lunch, class, meeting, tutor, gym” and that you’re going to be back around “11ish.”

Also, it’s annoying to read how much someone misses and loves their girlfriend/boyfriend. If that’s the way you feel tell the actual person not the rest of the world. It’s like AIM PDA. I also find it kind of strange when people write “call me” and leave their cell phone number. Honestly, the people you actually want to talk to probably already have your number. No need to beg people to call you.

No matter what though, nothing is worse than the default away messages.

Just don’t go there.