Netiquette

Chatting is a privilege, not a right!  I like to call this ZBZ (the “Zero Bullshit Zone”).  Here are some points and my typical, sometimes bitchy responses in chat.  Many people have told me they identify with my frustrations:

  • Why do I need a profile? No profile, no chat.  If you can’t commit two minutes to make a profile you probably can’t commit to much.  If you eventually do a profile and I find something inaccurate, I will advise you of same.  I will then decide if I will continue to talk to you at all.  If you do not remedy it, we will not continue.  You can email why you think lying is okay if you want but don’t send your excuses in chat.
  • How do I do a profile? It should be intuitive but if the site you found me on is too complicated for you, choose another site because you don’t belong there.  If you haven’t figured it out but you figured out how to contact me because you saw mine, then there’s something suspicious about your selective intelligence.
  • Why won’t you talk to me without a profile? Why should I play “Twenty Questions”?  You’ll do yourself a favor if you make a profile.  More people will notice you and base their decision to chat YOU up if they see you have common interests.
  • Can’t I just tell you what you want to know? All I want to now is are you too dumb or too lazy to make a profile.  Either way, you hardly would seem worth chatting with.
  • Well, what if I AM closeted? The closet is no excuse.  Just because you are “discreet”, doesn’t mean I have to be.  You can still make a profile that gives basic information like location and marital status.  If your spouse will kill you for identifying yourself, then maybe you’d better reassess your relationship.  Whatever the case, it’s not my issue.  I expect profiles to be honest, regardless of whether you are honest with yourself and your spouse.  I accept email from closeted people.
  • Why won’t you respond? Please be patient!  If I do not respond within a reasonable period of time, it is probably because I am away from my desk, so please do not be offended.
  • You took a long time to respond. Did I offend you? Please be patient!  I do not get offended easily, so silence or long delays should not be read into.  I am usually multi-tasking, which does not mean necessarily chatting with someone else.  If you have a profile, the only way that I will not get back to you is if my computer freezes before I can see that you chatted me up or if you do not leave me an email or other means to get in contact with you.  If this happens, email me through this web site.
  • I’m sorry for the long delay in getting back to you. You do not need to apologize for slow responses because I understand.  I usually like to swap email addresses  in the event we get cut off.
  • But I “love” my wife/husband… If you are the sexual minority in a mixed-sexuality relationship, the best thing you can do for your spouse is let him or her marry someone who is heterosexual.
  • I’m staying with her/him for the kids. Then you are teaching them to lie and that gay is bad.  The longer you wait to tell them, the worse off you will become homophobic.  See my gay parenting page, links and other resources on this site. Kids with gay parents are among the most well-adjusted in the world, absent more of the  prejudice and ugliness that is rampant in this world.
  • No scanner/digital camera here. <Yawn>  Kinkos.com.  This is not 1990 or even 2000.  Getting digital photos is dirt cheap and on every corner or at least in every country.  It IS okay to admit you are lazy and closeted, just don’t use this excuse to try to convince me you should be an exception.
  • Oh, you wanted a FACE picture? Yes, and not of someone else and not with sunglasses, preferably recent and preferably from within a reasonable distance.  I can download body parts all day if that is what I was looking for first. Don’t be surprised if I call you out on sending me something you took the time to decapitate.
  • Can I ask you a legal/computer/language translation question? Cash or charge?  What do you do for a living?  Can I go to your job and ask you to give me something for free?  Would you really trust ANY lawyer who gave you free advise in a chat room without knowing even the details of your matter?
  • What irritates you the most? When someone decides to chat me up on the basis of MY profile, which I labor to keep accurate, yet REFUSES to make one for himself.
  • Why are you so rude to people who chat you up without a profile? What is REALLY rude is chatting me up without the decency of basic information in the first place.  If you start off being rude, don’t expect me to do other than what my mother taught me.  If someone is rude to me first, I will not be polite in return.
  • Are you online all the time? I am online almost all the time with my constant connection to the Internet because I have a server and clients who need me to be online around the clock.  It is also unfortunately the only way SOME people who I know will communicate with me.  Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.  Some of these people refuse to use the phone or email.
  • What are you wearing? I do not do cyber or phone sex. If I was, I’d be in a cybersex or phone sex chat room, wouldn’t I be? I know how to get there if that was something I wanted.
  • Why don’t you put the away message on all your chat windows so that people know when you are not at your desk? I have found that some of them cause the computer to crash, especially the inane messenger for AOL.
  • Are you ignoring me? I never intentionally ignore anyone unless I physically put them in the ignore settings of my chat client and warn them that I’m going to, usually after reporting them to their ISP or the interface on which they found me.
  • Why won’t you chat with me? If I find out you are under eighteen and you are not someone I know like a friend of my daughter’s or my direct relative, then we will not chat live at all. If you contact me as a minor, I probably will never want to chat with you and will put you on permanent block very quickly.
  • How are you doing? I’ll usually say “same” which means “same as last time we chatted”.  I think of a chat as a continuum.  I am always online, so saying hello and goodbye in chat are usually not necessary, unless I am trying to alert someone of my presence who is away from his or her desk or I am cognizant of something that was wrong with you before.  In person I always say “good morning” and what not. I chat with people in all time zones, too, so it’s not always appropriate to make small talk.
  • ALL CAPS IS YELLING in both email and chat, so please be conscious of this.
  • Keep in mind that some of the emoticons that you use may come through differently in other chat clients or not at all.

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