instant messaging sins that annoy your friends and colleagues




looking forward to hear from you


Addicted to instant messaging? We understand. You’re a busy bee, and you don’t have time
to wait for somebody to get back to you by email. And walking over to the desk on the other
side of the room or picking up the phone sounds like too much of an effort for your liking.
You want an answer and you want it now.

But do you know the etiquette or are you committing any of these deadly instant messaging
sins? Don’t make yourself a social pariah – read on and keep your instant messaging bad
habits in check.

1. Inappropriate use of emoticons

An emoticon used in the right place can be a wonderful thing. A cheeky 😉 can say
more than a thousand words. Use too many though and people with think you’re on an
emotional rollercoaster and you might come across as a tad unstable. Plus, they’ll lose
they’re meaning if you abuse them. See sin No.8 for when you should use an emoticon.

2. Broken English and being unclear

No, you’re not writing the Great British Novel. But that’s no excuse for sloppy language,
overusing acronyms nobody’s heard of or, *shrudder*, txt spk. Remember what your
English teacher taught you and write out sentences in full and check them over before
you send them.

If you’re struggling to be understood, try screen sharing which will help you explain
something to the other person by showing them what to do on your screen.

3. Sending audio

Think of the person you’re speaking to. Their boss might be standing nearby, so they
won’t appreciate you sending them an audio sound without warning, making it obvious
that they’re slacking off.

4. Not knowing when to shut up

It can be tricky to end a chat, but try to read the signs that the other person wants to
wrap things up (one word answers, long pauses). Keeping the chat going for too long is
guaranteed to annoy people.

5. Starting a conversation with ‘hi’ or ‘what’s up?’

Get. To. The. Point.

6. Overdoing a nudge

This is the online equivalent of a big old shove and is highly rude. Other forms of nudges
include saying ‘sooooo…’ or asking ‘you there?’ if they don’t reply immediately.

They will get back to you when they’re good and ready.

7. Leaving people hanging

If you don’t have time for chit-chat, mark your status as Busy or Away. Taking ages to
get back to somebody is just plain rude as they’ll be waiting on your answer.

8. Forgetting that irony and sarcasm don’t translate well

If you must be a clever clogs, be sure to add a friendly smile or wink to make it clear that
it’s a joke or your friend could take your banter the wrong way.

9. Ignoring a Busy status

If somebody tells you they are in the middle of something and they will get back to you
later, make sure you listen to them. Unless it’s super urgent, leave them alone.

Hands up — which of these sins are you guilty of?


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