Oliver and I came up with the following “Guidelines for Chatting” together, after encountering some challenges; they’ve worked well.
- Do not type “hello hello hello hello.” Once is enough.
- Be patient.
- Type interesting things, not nonsense.
- Read carefully what the other person types.
- Don’t chat to people during inconvenient times (too early, too late, during work, etc.) Remember the time zones.
- Be respectful of other people: if they are too busy to chat, don’t get angry or frustrated. This might be hard, but it’s important.
- Don’t chat to people just because you are bored. Make sure you have something to communicate about. Or, find something else to do.
- Don’t chat to one person too much: remember that people’s time is valuable.
- Sometimes email is better than chat: if you email, people can answer when they have the time, even if they are busy right now.
- You could try scheduling a chat with someone by email first: suggest a good time and ask them if they are available then.
- No strangers.
Oliver has dedicated, international collection of iChat/Skype friends, and it’s an important part of his life. Becoming one of the group, as any will attest, requires patience and commitment, and for that generosity we are truly grateful.