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April 15, 2007


Joel Martinez

nah, you're being paranoid :-) I'm willing to bet that most of those people have just as many people on their friends lists.

If you log on as much as possible, just set your status accordingly (Busy, Be right back, out to lunch, etc.). I know you can't explicitly set your status on the 360, but eventually, the people that matter will learn that "XNA Game Launcher" means you're busy ;-)


I guess you are going to love the new 360 feature with the windows live intergation


Be honest about it - talk to people only when you want to.

In fact, if somebody sent me a message every time they logged on, even though they had nothing to say, I'd start ignoring them - that's obnoxious.


I've been wondering the same thing and actually came to the same conclusion you did — leaving the IM programs off. I hate to do that because there are a lot of knowledgeable people on my list who can often help me through some problems with code or what-not, but its just not worth the 50 or so people just saying hi and taking up space on my task bar.


Actually I stopped using IM's altogether exactly for the reasons you stated. I'm also quite annoyed when I IM somebody and they don't reply although they appear "available" or even better, they go offline while I'm waiting for their reply. Then I'm sitting there wondering if they were just disconnected and will come back online or if they didn't see my message or if they saw my message but didn't bother replying or.. well, to make it short: I've gone back to EMails.



man, i swore off IM a long time ago, more or less for those reasons. if it's urgent, people know how to get in touch synchronously: telephone. if it's not, email is more than asynchronous enough. neither of those offers much in the way of availability management, and don't need to. just leave a message and wait for me to get back to you. broadcasting my presence is icky and invasive, and there are people who have nothing better to do than visit with people who "show up" online. pretty rude to ignore them, but what else can you do except stay away?

Joel Martinez

People People ... there's no need to be so melodramatic. As mr. anon said ... if someone is bugging the shite out of you, either ignore them, or just tell them flat out, "can't talk, busy".

Another strategy is to use different accounts for different contexts. I have a work account where I'm online with all my co-workers, and a personal account where all my peeps reside.


I've had people on my IM list for years that I speak to maybe once every 6 to 8 months. I think most people understand that you dont have to say hi to someone everytime they log on. I'd actually be a little creeped out by people who did say hi to me everytime I logged on. I actually feel like I'm bothering people when I send them IM's so I try to do it rarely, unless they are one of my closer friends or I'm at work.

I do hate the fact that it feels like you have to be constantly connected to some sort of network anymore, be it a cell phone, wi-fi, friends lists, or whatever else.



Actually the same thing can be said about being in a guild in any MMO. There's plenty of nights where I just want to log on and solo away on some mobs for the night, but then people in the guild suddenly get pissy or offended because you're not taking your first 30-45 minutes of your session to touch base with everyone. Puuhhleeze.

Valentin Laube

@joel: thats a good idea but it would be even better if the instant messenger itself supported contexts like this


I'm sure most people understand. Don't picture the buddylist as a list of people in a virtual room that you walk into, picture it as a black book for potential communication. When I used IMs (I also have reverted to email, thanks to gMail and its built-in gTalk, and a wonky wireless card,) I never even looked at my Trillian list, rather just kept it in the system tray. If/when I wanted to talk to someone, then I open it and look.

And the best habit you can pick up with IMs is use of 'away' messages. I can't count the number of times I'd send a message to someone only to have them go 'away' due to inactivity seconds later. Trillian's single box for all away messages is a great tool. Imagine it as screening your calls via answering machine. If it's important, pick up. If not, just leave it there and get back to them later.

Of course, Trillian also has that nifty 'invisible' mode which you can set for each service individually.

I have some people I talk to daily, and others I get in contact with one or twice a year and have fun/silly political arguments.


The IM friends list is like the agenda on your phone. A convenience, not an obligation. That was a useful realization.

Another thing I ended up doing was disconnect the auto-away feature. Just because I'm logged in and NOT marked away or Do Not disturb, doesn't mean I am ready to answer an IM, so why create expectations by using the status? Took people a while to get used to it, but it's much healthier.

If a friends needs to contact with me immediately, IM is not a guaranteed method. Come to think of it, my mobile isn't either, I tend to forget it at home, or in flight mode, or with a discharged battery...

Chris Busse

You're overthinking it, Jamie. I think I've had about 3 online conversations with people jsut to chat. Most often it's great for organizing Multiplayer games. You get so focused on what you are doing you don't notice it 90% of the time. It's not expected that you will chat or say hi or send messages. We are not teenagers.


Yep, i'm exactly the same. I don't want to ignore people but it annoys the hell out of me that I can't just pop on to XBL to check out a new download (downloading while I carry on with work I may add) without some of the 'friends' seeing i'm online and possibly taking offence because I haven't sent a message.

In general i'm trying to wind down my perceived pressence on the internet in general at least in a two way capacity, not because I don't want to talk to people but because it soaks up so much precious time.

You are not alone!



Actually, you can set that in your 360. Hit the guide button and go down to "Personal Settings" from there choose "Online Status" (i think) and then you can choose to be busy, afk, even appear offline. With the spring update they are adding a few extras for the messenger integration.

What I usually do is if I don't want people to annoy me (or know I'm online)... then I don't auto login to the xbox 360. I turn it on, go to those setting and choose appear offline first, then I log in. It will keep that setting for you.

Another thing I do is when I'm watching movies I make sure my status is set to Busy" this disables all notifications (user coming online, etc).

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