The Rules of Engagement for Instant Messaging

Tsk Tsk. You have been referred to this page because you have committed one or more of the Cardinal Sins of Instant Messaging (IM) and need retraining.

The basic rule of thumb is: “Do I really need to break Ian’s concentration with a red hot poker in the eye right now?”, but here are the specifics:

  1. If I don’t answer immediately I’m not being rude (or I might be, at my discretion). Just wait, I’ll get to you. IM is not the other end of my chain for you to yank.
  2. Don’t interrupt me to tell me what you are going to do.
  3. Don’t interrupt me to say “Nothing has happened yet“.
  4. Don’t interrupt me by answering “Ok“.
  5. Don’t interrupt me with “Thanks“. See 6. Pointless Pleasantries.
  6. Don’t say “Hi“, “Good morning“, “Sorry to bother you” or sign your name. You are not writing a letter so dispense with the noise. It’s ok to be terse; I won’t be offended.
  7. Last, but not least, if you are going to interrupt me, then take the time to compose an actual message. If you fire off a sentence as fragments in multiple messages, I will not sit there waiting for you to get to the damn point, I will come around to your house and rip your bloody arms off.

Ok, now you know, and we can be friends again.

Having read read this you probably just smacked yourself in the forehead when you realised how crass you were. If you are about to Instant Message me to thank me however, please start again at Rule 1.

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