A Conversation for Modern Etiquette

humans present and virtual

Post 1


I enjoy spending time chatting online - "virtual people" if you like... these are people who i have established friendships for lentghy periods. I have noticed that when other friends turn up they find it disconcerting that i may wish to continue a conversation i've been having with a virtual friend even though they have dropped around for a coffee. For many of them if a person isn't physically present then they aren't quite real and don't seem to require the same rules of courtesy that they do.

I have made a stand.... I insist that living friends wait until I can wind down an online conversation, say my goodbyes and THEN give the fleshy one my full attention. Whilst the person present may have some precedence over a virtual one,I don't see that I should cold shoulder an ongoing conversation simply because they turn up and are present. I'm curious how other people handle this situation ?

humans present and virtual

Post 2

EncyBass-: Not going to be around much next week, cos I've got a new job...

Just a simple "I've gotta go, catch you later" normally does the trick...

humans present and virtual

Post 3

DoctorMO (Keeper of the Computer, Guru, Community Artist)

I usualy ask them to wait too, no point in spoiling good friendships when your fleshy friends should understand.

-- DoctorMO --

humans present and virtual

Post 4

AEndr, The Mad Hatter

For me, it depends on the relative importance of the conversation. Ditto with phone calls.

If one of the people is really upset, has a problem only I can solve or needs a friendly ear, they will have my time rather than someone who just wanted to catch up on gossip or dropped by on spec.

If there isn't an urgent problem, then... well, I find it harder to put off someone who is there in person, so I will usually draw the online conversation to a close, but not abruptly. This also depends on who is at the other end - there are some people that I just chatter online to every night and they have others they can talk to if I'm not around. It also depends on the conversation - just chatter is easier to close than an interesting debate on a subject.

It's all relative really.

However, that doesn't mean the person who has phoned/messaged/dropped by on spec has priority - if they didn't check if I was busy first, then it's perfectly reasonable to put them off till I'm not.

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