Are you online?

Allright, first I will answer your first question, my dear reader: Why this is already my third posting today is simple, it is quiet here in the office, people were not able to come in for work because of the rain (see my first post of the day) and I am actually quite a bit ahead on my schedule with work. So, onto the next.

I just recieved the most dreaded of emails. The email that puts the sender immediately in the category of my personal black-list. You know, worse than spammers. Spammers don’t target you, they target everyone. But the person who sends you an email of the category ‘who askes stupid questions…’

“Are you online?”

You know there can be only one sensible answer: “yes, but I am ignoring you”. Now, if you have read some of my posts, or even just made it this far into this one, you know my grammar skills are not top-notch, not in English, not in my native Dutch. I am a designer/developer, not a linguistic person (if I even spelled that right). Because, the sender knows that the only way the person is able to read the message is actually to be online. So, technically, upon recieving the email the answer is always ‘yes’. Now. The only reason why a person is sending the question, is because they are begging for attention.  The only reason why they want attention is because you are not giving it. So, you are ignoring that person.

Using an IM program, I can understand the question ‘Are you online’. Because an IM actually is like a conversation in real time, it happens right there and then. But email is the comfy-conversation. The Comfyconf. The lazy-man’s social interaction. Someone asks a question, and you reply whenever it is the best time for you. That is why I prefer email and that I am not so much on any IM. If you want to talk to me, just give me a call. But if you send me a mail, be prepared to wait a couple of minutes at least. Grrrrrrr.

Somehow, in this day and age, people expect you to be up and ready at any time. That happened about 10 years ago, when everyone started to have cellphones and you could call them at any time. Don’t you love it that when you are actually face-to-face with someone, so you took the time to actually go to a person to have a conversation, they immediately pick up the phone when it rings? I remember in the good old times they put someone on the phone on hold, now they put you as a person on hold.

Call me old-fashioned in this IT-Comm age. I love my personal time. I am there at email, and you can try to call me on my cell, but I actually use the ‘ignore’ button a lot when I am spending my time with people I am with. It is not rude, it is asking you to leave a message and I will be following up on it when I can give you my undevided attention. And at that moment, everyone else has to wait.

I personally think it is polite actually.


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