Monday, September 30

Internet Pet Peeve #3: Using someone else's IM account. (Also under this category, switching around people on the same account during a conversation.)

Most rules of etiquette, I try to ignore, my life is crazy enough without having to remember 100,000 rules for keeping my socks clean. Maybe it's because I spend so much time online, but there are some rules that really shouldn't be broken. One such, that came up today, is using someone else's IM account. Your IM account is technically your avatar online. It's YOU. When someone else uses it, it's essentailly like someone else taking over your body and using that to talk. (Which I am sure you are all aware, is against many laws of etiquette.)

What I am getting down to then is: IM accounts are free, you can log in anywhere in the world, no one is going to get mad at you for using your account. Deal with it, get your own FREE IM account.

You might be wondering why I dislike this so much, and I will tell you: There is a certain amount of trust involved with IM. You trust originally that the other person is (if you've talked to them for a while) really who they say they are, or at least pretend to be the same crazy person each time you talk. So when someone else uses the account there is a certain amount of trust that seems to be broken. Can you really trust that this person will be the SAME person in the future? Or will they let other people use their account.

Just so you know I am not on some righteous crusade I will tell you that this goes back to my childhood... ok... well not THAT far back, let's try freshman year. I had a friend I was in drama with and she went off to school and I would occationally talk to her via IM. Then one day someone else got on there and started swearing at me and saying other stuff I found offensive. I deleted the person off my IM list and haven't spoken to them since. It's a trust thing. Don't abuse it.

As with every rule there is an exception. If you setup an account that is clearly known that it is a "dorm room" account or a "family account" then it is ok to use the "group" account.



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