July 14th, 2004

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Sometimes, I really like living in MA...

In yesterday's mail, I found a flyer that appears to be a pro-gay-marriage organizing rally -- sponsored by the re-election campaigns of my various state and local representatives. That doesn't actually astonish me -- they've all been pretty consistently in the pro-rights camp -- but it's comforting to see them make quite so public a stand on an issue that is far from unanimity even here...
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IM Ettiquette

Okay, here's an odd opinion question that I toss out to the masses. When you're in an IM conversation with someone, what do you perceive as your responsibility to keep up your end of the conversation? In particular, do you have a responsibility to conclusively end it?

This came to mind because I was chatting with my father a few minutes ago. I'd let the conversation die off some time ago, but after about ten minutes he popped back solely for the purpose of saying "bye". On the one hand, I can understand that, but it's a rather telephone-like approach, which struck me as unnecessary for IM. I've found it most natural to let many IM chats simply trail off. Not always: when I'm in a genuinely animated conversation with someone, I treat it like a F2F talk and end it properly. But when it's just an occasional back-and-forth with sporadic messages (the most common case), I often just sort of let it drop without ever explicitly ending it.

So I'm curious: how do you handle IM ettiquette? Do you think it's always appropriate/required to tell the person at the other end of the line when you have to dash off? Sometimes? Never? I fall into the "sometimes" category, but I have no idea whether that's common or not...