It’s really interesting the notion of away messages and tag lines. They can say so much with so few words, or they can be utter nonsense. They can tell people where you are, what you are listening to, or what you’re doing and makes us think about whether we have TMI syndrome. So much info can be conveyed (I’ll worry about whether it should be another time).
And they’re great conversaton starters. Today I changed my gmail line to read “Ow, I fainted”. In those 3 words it let my friends know that I may not be feeling too hot so don’t expect much out of me if I even show myself as available. I ended up chatting with 2 friends about this since they were concerned. Don’t worry, it was just a stupid routine blood test, but I ended up calling in sick to work because of it (thought I’d make it in for the afternoon, but I woke up from my first nap at quarter to 1 and my second nap at 3:30).
It’s interesting too, because one of those friends was someone I didn’t actually talk to much at all, but I wrote an email to a Yahoo group we’re on and she responded, and so we’ve chatted a couple times online now. I say it’s interesting because although we know each other in person, we never talked before, and she’s been in Germany for the last month or more. (maybe 3 months? gee, I forget). Anyway, she’s coming back this week, so it’s nice to see a new friendship ignited by Gmail chat.
I’ve heard complaints that reliance on technologies like chat and SMS are damaging communication skills especially among young people, but without these tools, I doubt this young woman and I would ever have started a realtionship of any sort (we’re both shy).