I was listening to the new episode of the Drax files yesterday.
I usually listen while I am writing, so sometimes I get a bit distracted. This time, a comment made by one of the guests caught my attention.
He was discussing how he often logs in to SL using an alternate account (alt) so that he can work on things without the constant disruption of IMs from friends.
The issue was on my mind already, after reading a recent blog post by Canary Beck about needing ‘transition time’ when she logs into SL.
Personally, I am always happy to hear from friends. To me, that’s the great thing about IMs. I may get them instantly, but nothing requires me to ANSWER them instantly.
If I am truly trying to concentrate on something, I generally set my availability to ‘unavailable’ so that I can finish whatever it is I’m working on. (I am guilty of also forgetting to uncheck this setting, even when I am done working. 😛 )
When I first log in, whether I respond to IMs right away depends on what I am doing. I usually work through IMs first, then NCs, and then whatever other housekeeping tasks I need to do before moving on. However, I can honestly say that I’ve never been frustrated or annoyed by IMs waiting for me when I log in.
If I am busy, but not so busy that I want to be ‘unavailable,’ I will generally just let the IM sit until I can take a break and send a quick response. Sometimes that response is ‘Hey, working – get back with you in a bit.’
I do have an alternate account that I use for various things, but I’ve never been so bombarded by IMs that I felt I needed to log in on that account just to avoid people.
In the interview, Drax also mentioned that many people do not feel ‘like themselves’ when they log in as alternate accounts. While I can understand that, if that is how you feel, why bother having an alternate account in the first place?
I think perhaps there is a social perception that because someone speaks to us via IM, an immediate response is required. Speaking for myself, my friends know that if they don’t get an immediate response, I am not ignoring them, I am busy and not able to respond right away. When I IM someone, I do not get upset if I don’t get an immediate response.
There are lots of reasons this may happen, so I don’t take the lack of response personally.
What about you? Do you feel the need to escape using an alt?