One of the issues I have with browser-based IMs is that they’re not prominent enough.  If all of your IM-world stuff is just relegated to one tab in your browser, then what’s keeping you from just ignoring it like the rest of the tabs you might happen to have open? (note: yes, several simplifying assumptions are being made)  Yeah, okay, maybe there’s some sort of sound that plays, and maybe the tab’s title bar changes or something, but…

Perhaps that’s one reason why when I go on my “hey let’s message everyone who’s online” spurts it’s uncommon for me to get any responses (and similarly for my “let’s call all my friends” escapades).  Or…maybe not.  I mean, you know, back in the day, being online (as opposed to away, or invis, etc) actually meant that you were available, as in available for me to talk to, or ask a question, or at least get some sort of response.  Nowadays that assumption has fallen through the roof SO badly that eventually you get to memorizing the subset of people who are -actually- online when their status says so (i try to make it a point to be in this set), versus the other set of people whom you know have a 90% probability of actually being afk.

Or, in some cases, not even afk, as I’ve observed people enough times to know that people will just leave messages unanswered and unread, leave texts not responded to, leave missed calls waiting for callbacks.  And yeah, sure, I do that every once in awhile, if I’m working on a group project, or in the middle of a TGM session, or talking with someone who just stepped into my room (but how often does that last one happen anyways?).  But I’m not just going to ignore your message so I can keep working on my reading for a little longer.  I mean, you wouldn’t ignore someone like that if they came up to you in person, would you?  (would you?…sadly not as rhetorical of a question as I want it to be)

I can only remember really ignoring someone like that once.  I’d read their emails and not answer, I’d miss their calls and listen to the voicemails and not do anything about them.  Even when I actually picked up, I’d act busy and tired; not in the mood for talking.  And that’s because I hated that person.  I didn’t want anything to do with them.

So how do you think I feel about this happening to me on a regular basis?


One thought on “Ignored

  1. inchoateperfection

    I so can relate to this post. I have been feeling that way since I got to Stanford, and tried to chat with people back home. I have no idea why people leave their statuses as available if they are going out or not going to be around, but I guess with mobile IM, it is harder to say that they won’t answer/respond. I don’t know…I think the concept of texting also turns me off because texts can be easily ignored or not received immediately either. I don’t know…but if I’m online, I’ll definitely respond to you, just to let you know. I may not have the most interesting things to say, but I’ll be here for you, if you need me. (:

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