Monday, 15 April 2013

BBM Etiquette


So we all know that as far as interacting via real time internet based instant messengers BlackBerry Messenger takes the cake. As our mobile devices become more and more a part of who we are and how we communicate with each other is there then an unspoken etiquette or better yet, 'netiquette' we need to adhere to?  With BlackBerrys widely used in corporations, both office and business etiquette overlap with the basic online social conventions, right?  Actually, I think most of us with a company BlackBerry use BBM for our more 'non-professional' conversations because people feel that these are not tracked the way email can be.  Chatting via BBM is basically the closest thing you can have 'virtually speaking' to a real conversation, and that is why it has become so popular outside of the office. But a lot can still be lost in translation. So how does one navigate through the world of BlackBerry Messaging without offending?

Be aware of response times.  One feature of BlackBerry Messenger is the real-time confirmations when messages are delivered and read. The sender knows when you have received and read their message and therefore also if you have decided to ignore them.
Keep your contact list relevant. Adding new contacts is easy by simply scanning QR codes or sharing PINs but you don't want your contact list to get out of hand. Especially when you are sharing a mass message or photos or videos with multiple contacts at once. Not everyone cares about your broadcasted message that was really only meant for a select few.
Respect peoples' status` The recipient receives the all too familiar little chirp when they receive a new message and if their device is on silent or vibrate they will still receive that blinking light that tells them they've received a new message or email. If the contact has indicated they are busy in their status don't bombard them with messages. If they are like me, they won't be able to ignore those message notifications.
It's like a real conversation – Start with a greeting and Say goodbye.  I'd say this is dependent on the nature of the relationship with your contact. If it's a business contact, work colleague or someone who you don't always message then the proper greetings and farewells are the polite thing to do. With my closer or more personal contacts the conversation never really ends so the formalities aren't always necessary.
Choose your words wisely.  With the ability to save chat history you better stand by your words. Ever been in a dispute where you swore up and down that you had no clue you had to go with your girlfriend to visit her parents only to find out that on Saturday at exactly 10:23PM you sent her a BBM promising to be there. It can be damaging in other scenarios but I'd say significant others are most likely to use the recorded conversation histories to their advantage.

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