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Chatiquette: IM and Private Chat Etiquette

Last modified: 8th November 2011

  1. Respond to an IM/PM within 3 mins, and certainly no longer than 5 mins.
  2. Do not respond with one word answers. = Boring.
  3. Don’t be sarcastic with strangers, they might not realise that you’re being sarcastic, nor understand it. Keep online sarcasm amongst close friends.
  4. Avoid using too many Chat Abbreviations. Not everyone is as fluent as you.
  5. If you’re going away from the chat window for more than 10 mins. Let the people you’re chatting to know with a BRB message and change your online status to show you’re away.
  6. If you unexpectedly sign out and then back into a chat room, it’s your responsibility to restart the conversation with the people you were talking to before.
  7. Fixing spelling errors is not necessary during an IM conversation unless the other person isn’t going to understand what you were trying to say. Typos happen. Get over it.
  8. Make sure there is enough contrast between your choice of font colour and the background.
  9. If you don’t want to talk to someone it’s ok to make up an excuse and then block them.
  10. If you haven’t spoken to a contact in a few years it’s ok to delete them from your friends list.
  11. Be careful what you say in an IM message, the other person could be saving your conversations.
  12. If you have to leave an IM conversation it’s nice to say you have to leave before you do. If you can’t, then at least apologise next time you see them online.
  13. Always sign off with a greeting like Goodbye, TTYL, cya, ciao etc. Don’t make a habit of logging off unexpectedly. It’s rude.
  14. Don’t over use emoticons. It can be over kill if your messages just seem like a stream of hieroglyphics.
  15. If you are busy working or doing homework whilst logged on, change your status to busy so that people don’t yell at you for not responding to them.
  16. Don’t break up with someone using IM or any electronic messaging system. Best to do the dirty work in person.
  17. If you accidently sign in on a friend’s  username and someone starts talking to you, let that person know what has happened, then log out and log in with your own details.
  18. If there is a parent, sibling or friend that you don’t want reading your conversation let the other chatter know with POS (Parent Over Shoulder).
  19. Avoid chatting whilst drunk. We can’t read what you’re typing anyway.
  20. Do not start conversations if you have nothing to say. They end up being dull and you look like a loser.

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