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5 reasons your online-chat pals may block you

Yes, online chat is a wonderful way to pass the time -- but don't abuse it or your friends may block you.
Yes, online chat is a wonderful way to pass the time -- but don't abuse it or your friends may block you.
  • Thanks to online chatting, the internet has provided us with a splendid way to communicate
  • Being a downer, dull or putting up annoying statuses can put at risk of being blocked
  • Americans spend about 160 million hours per month instant messaging

Editor's note: Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz are the sarcastic brains behind humor blog and book Stuff Hipsters Hate. When they're not trolling Brooklyn for new material, Ehrlich works as a news editor at, and Bartz holds the same position at Psychology Today.

(CNN) -- Ever since the early days of AOL Instant Messenger (and ICQ for all you diehard chatters out there), the internet has provided us with a splendid way to reach out to others, connect with them across the channels of humanity and completely and utterly waste their time.

Picture this, if you will: Whilst clicking dejectedly through your Gmail, waiting for those Facebook invites to come pouring in (can't spend Saturday night watching "My So-Called Life" and crying -- you did that last weekend), you decide to send a chat to your friend, interrupting her glassy-eyed computer monitor staring contest.

A blinking window title. A little bloop sound. And, unlike with e-mail, Facebook messages, texts and even phone calls, comes an expectation that she shall answer NOW.

And let me tell you something: More often than not, you're likely annoying the hell out of her. Why? Well, according to recent research from Nielsen, Americans spend a collective total of about 160 million hours per month instant messaging -- so the odds are pretty good.

Yes, chat is a wonderful way to pass the time during work ("I will cleverly fool my boss into thinking I'm hard at work by feverishly typing -- a detailed account of how I crowd-surfed into the arms of the riot police when they came to break up that illegal show last night"), to make plans on the fly or to communicate with that dude one cubicle over ("My vocal chords are so weary... Let's just have this meeting via iChat, mmk?").

But it's also the bane of many a computer-bound drone's existence.

Read on for five ways you're potentially leading your co-workers, friends and casual acquaintances to hit "Block."

You're a downer

you: hi...

your friend: heyo.

you: i'm really depressed.

your friend: um, why?

you: well, my boss yelled at me because i wouldn't take my headphones off, but i was listening to this really get-up-and-go jam by the vaselines and it was really impelling me to get up and go, but he didn't get that.

you: also my cat died this morning, but he's somewhere in the wall because he climbed in there last week so i can only tell by the smell.

you: also, that girl i had been seeing isn't returning my calls because the same cat peed all over her new silk dress.

you: actually, since he's dead, do you think that would be reason enough to call her again?

your friend: brb

You're dull

you: hey.

your friend: hi!

you: what's up?

your friend: ehh, not much. my boss just spilled coffee all over his shirt and yelled, "fudge!" it was pretty funny. who says, "fudge!' after age 7?

you: ha.

your friend: what's up with you?

you: nothing.

your friend: oh.

you: yeah. so what's up...?

You over-share


your friend: oh, cool. i'm at work. i'll watch it later.


your friend: nice. i can't open stuff like that at work.


your friend: dude, seriously. not everyone is an unemployed freelance writer who spends most of his day crying, eating cereal out of the box and reading The Daily What. respect, dude, respect.

you: harsh, man. just for that, i'm not showing you this naked lady that looks like homer simpson.

your friend: wait...

You're always invisible

you: hi.

your friend: oh, dude. i thought you weren't online.

you: i'm hiding from some people. what's up?

your friend: well, i've been e-mailing you for like the last hour about that project. are you done yet? seriously, man, we need to turn it in TOMORROW and you haven't done anything yet. can you send me what you have???

[Sent at 11:14 AM on Thursday] your friend: hello???

[Sent at 11:52 AM on Thursday] your friend: hello??? dude, you're not fooling ANYONE. ANSWER ME!

You put up annoying statuses

you: hey...

your friend: hey, lady.

you: what's going on?

[your new status message - i hate my job and my life and everyone i know 11:19 AM]

your friend: uh ... gtg.


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