Once again with the clueless IM users.

It’s been four years since the last time I ranted about this, but one of my pet peeves has returned: The Clueless Instant Message User.

This is a class of person that seems to get some sense of validation by having as many people on their IM contact lists as they possibly can. To that end every time they come across someone’s IM information, say on a personal blog like SEB, they feel the overwhelming need to add that person to their buddy list even if they’ve never said so much as two words to that person. Then months or years later they see that person is online and they’re compelled to send an IM asking said person why they added said person to their buddy list. With me the conversation tends to go something like the following, which is an actual conversation I had on ICQ not ten minutes ago:

spitfire: hai

Me: Howdy

spitfire: you are on my contact list!
spitfire: congradulations
spitfire: can u help mem remember how u go tthere raspberry
spitfire: i havent logged on icq in years

Me: Take me off your list. Now.

spitfire: that doesnt answer the question
spitfire: I dont think I know you at all…

Me: If you don’t remember why I’m on your list then there’s no point in me BEING on your list. And it’s pretty silly to ask me if I remember why I’m on your list because we obviously haven’t chatted enough for you to recall so it’s unlikely I’ll recall either. Rather than waste time it’d be easier and more rational to just remove me from your list and forget I was ever on it.

spitfire: well thats a pretty niave and dismissive, but you sound like a cunt anyway so I will remove you

Me: No more naive than someone who can’t remember why I’m on their list.

spitfire: 0 logic to that
spitfire: fai
spitfire: fuckoff

Me: And, once again confronted with their own stupidity, they resort to badly typed insults.

I used to maintain a presence on all the major IM networks—ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, Windows Live Messenger, etc.—but for the past couple of years I’ve limited myself to Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, and Skype. At work I’ve been starting up the Pidgin client which allows you to login to multiple accounts and I figured I may as well check in on the networks I’ve not been on in awhile, which of course led to the above exchange. It’s unusual for it to have occurred on ICQ as usually it’s the AIM users. It doesn’t tend to happen on WLM or Google Talk mainly because I have to give approval to requests to add me to a buddy list and if it’s not immediately clear who you are I’ll often deny the request.

It’s not so much that I care if random strangers want to add me to their buddy lists and occasionally chat with me. I chat with random people in real life all the time. It does bug me to be asked why I’m on their buddy list as though A) I’d have any idea to begin with and B) it could be in anyway important that they keep me on their list in spite of the fact that they obviously never chat with me. Don’t know why I’m on your buddy list? Just fucking delete me and move on with your life. I promise I won’t be crushed by your rejection.

9 thoughts on “Once again with the clueless IM users.

  1. As soon as someone I don’t know does that very thing (probably up to the “can u help mem remember…”, but if I haven’t had my coffee, then the ‘hai’ will do it), they get put on the block list.

    Life is too short to waste with kiddies who go out of their way to spell improperly.

  2. <grammar-nazi>
    By the way, it is “they result to poorly-typed insults.” Only people can be bad.


  3. Yea…I have had people I could care less about talk to me too…I just put the settings where you have to be on MY buddy list for me to talk to you.

  4. All instant messaging programs needs to get the royal treatment . . . upchuck and die. Fortunately there’s “off line” and it seems to work.

    For friends there’s the phone.

  5. You’ve never worked a mind-numbing third-shift job where you can’t make noise, have you? Having unemployed friends on an IM client makes things go much faster.

  6. My list of IM buds tends to be fairly stable and recognizeable.  It’s Twitter that’s the Hot New Thing where I daily get “JoeBobYouDon’tKnow is following you” messages— most of which are, as I understand it, attempts to get me to automatically follow them back so that they get follower whuffie for ego and/or spamming influence.

    Interesting to see the virtual world continues to evolve into a mirror of the real world.

  7. I used to use GAIM (when it was still called that), then iChat, and now Adium. All of which do buddy aliasing. What silly people are they not to alias everyone? After this long, I no longer remember anyone’s screen name, because I see their real names. If I forgot who Les Jenkins was (unlikely), I could just google his name, since that’s what my IM client would show me.

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