Awayism on Messenger
Is this also what your Messenger or other social contacts application looks like? Everyone uses the ‘away’ status nowadays, and trust me, it is not because I am impopular among my Messenger crowd because I talk to these people in real life on a regular basis.
What I see here is the trend of awayism. I’ll briefly explain what I mean with this -ism here: With Messenger you speak when you are spoken to, simply because it is expected. But if you don’t want to reply, you don’t want to have to excuse yourself all the time, right? So that is where the away button -or the busy/lunchbreak/etc. for that matter- comes into play.
Its original intention was to notify the other user of your availability. But now the Messenger applications are maturing on a social level and developing their own user language. Now the away button is not a way of saying that you are really ‘away’ or ‘busy’, but more and more it signifies that the person on the other side decides for himself if he/she wants to speak when he/she is spoken to.
When software is used, users create their own way of using certain options in a way that they see fit. It is neither in the hands of the developer, nor completely in the hands of the user how the software works in the community. It is a combination of both, meeting in the middle. I’ve been thinking about this, but a button in Messenger that says ‘I’ll think about it if I want to talk to you’ just wouldn’t cut it I guess.
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