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: you are on my contact list!
spitfire: can u help mem remember how u go tthere
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
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.