The Presence Dilemma

Perhaps I'm old school but I have a presence dilemma. I'm referring of course to the presence status of many instant messaging applications that show all my contacts whether I'm currently online, offline or in a state in between.

For me the dilemma is that I feel that there is a difference between being online and having time or being in the mood to engage in a conversation. When I receive an instant message out of the blue and don't have time to respond I sometimes don't feel comfortable to reject the conversation as that might be seen by the other party as rude, especially if he or she is also 'old school'. Also I have to remember to 'text back' once I have time. Also not ideal.

I could of course set my client to 'invisible' but then I would forget later on to switch it back to 'available' when I am or feel reachable again. And no, I don't want to go fully offline with my instant messaging client as sometimes I still want to be reachable for a select audience.

Yes, human interaction is complicated (or perhaps it's just me?) and instant messaging presence is far from reflecting my reachability status.

One thought on “The Presence Dilemma”

  1. It’s not only you. I have the same issue on bussiness. We have the fancy Lotus Sametime. I started with a whitelist concept. But soon i discovered, that this is not the best solution. Even when i want to contact a person which is not in my whitlist it is not possible. On the other hand i don’t like to blacklist people. In general there is room for improovement but i doubt if this is possible 😉

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