Instant messaging, chatting online & me
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I've never been a fan of online chatting. It is older than the WWW. Back in the day of dial-up modem BBSing lots of people liked to type at each other. Even in the same city. It allowed for anonymity. Though the few chats I found myself trapped in tended to consist of bland pleasantries until the person at the other end had to do something more interesting like take the trash out.
Going on the web to meet guys I was realistic and hardy enough to download the instant messaging clients. Most IMs were easily dealt with:
- Other: hello
- Me: Howdy
- Other: how r uMe: Fine
- Other: good
- Me: What can I do for you?
- Other 1: what r u into
- Other 2: i'm str8 but wondered what it'd be like
- Other 3: how big r u
- Other 4: tee hee
- Other 5: a/s/l!
- Other 6: u looking 4 action
- Other 7: r u a top
- Other 8: wanna cyber
- Other 9: [ dead silence ]
I've been away for too long. I'm sure some of you have some funny chats you remember.
There were some who would continue more or less in the same terse, license plate ebonics vein (cursor over acronym provides translation):
Sometimes a FIWOBATLAAI would send me PMFJI before PMIGBOMing followed by"Hi QT!" And let me know their GF or BF was out of town if I'd like a little FUN - BEG! If I were feeling too patient to say STFU they'd tell me FMTYEWTK and foolishly ask AWTTW? Even a firm no didn't stop some of them from saying Kewl, they'd try me again soon. B4N followed by XOXOXO. Unkind person that I am I was left feeling they should just FOAD
The moment a chat started I went to look at their profile. If they were inarticulate and had no profile I saw no reason to not just close the IM window.
A nice email from one of those people who don't feel verbally confident enough to write an email of more than a few sentences got me to download and install AIM.
I IM'd the guy. With no unkindness meant toward him, I'd forgotten what a pain chatting is. You each have distractions, other people in the house, bladder, trips to the kitchen. And on his end he may have been chatting with other people. When I had four different chat clients loaded it could be pure hell trying to juggle things even though I was mostly just eliminating idiots while trying to keep up with a single potentially worthwhile chat.
And I hated accidentally typing "apuislfd," having to correct it and then finish a sentence. Having a fair store of settled opinions doesn't make me speedy in stating them.
I remember reading once that customer service for people who sell online would move toward chatting. That sounded frightening. Telling people what the weather is like is easier in email than in real time in an open shop. And living where I do there'd be questions about basketball players whose names are happily unknown to me.
Admittedly if I hadn't bee chatting with horny strangers instant messaging might've grown on me. Lots of people chat mostly with their friends. There are some folks I know I'd hear from more often if I weren't so stubborn.
Possibly the best thing about Live Journal's commenting system is it lets you talk almost as you would via IMs but at a gentler pace.