I have family and friends who live in other states or overseas, and seeing as how we're not always up to picking up the phone, I use instant messaging online to converse with these people. MSN's Windows Live Messenger is what I use, and I love the ease with which one can keep in touch through typing text, through video calls or just plain voice calls for absolutely no money.
Windows Live, as with every other instant messaging service out there, allows me to go online and pick and choose who I want to talk to, whether it be by allowing me to block people without their knowledge, or to choose from a variety of statuses that can deter people from talking to me when I just can't, even though I can still be visibly online.
Having said all that, I am getting to the question that this post is centered around, and hope someone out there can answer it:
If WL, and all instant messaging services out there allow users to tell their "buddies" that even though they're online they are unable to talk because they are Busy, Out to Lunch, On the Phone, or whatever, or even to appear offline even when they are online and can still converse with whoever it is they choose from their list, why is it that some insist on appearing online and available when they really aren't?
I mean, I understand that people are busy sometimes without realizing they are, but when it's an ongoing problem for you that you just can't find the time to talk to people who see you are online and available, then maybe it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the options available to you, so that you let people know you are alive, but too busy to talk at the moment. That's all I ask.
In the meantime, I have decided to not say hi to anyone unless they say hi to me first, because when I'm too busy to talk, I just don't sign on, period, and that is a courtesy I want reciprocated.