“The most important document to emerge from a computer since the Ten Commandments.”
—Steve Case, Former Chairman and CEO of AOL

You've seen the phenomenon: during the semester, at least 75% of your buddy list is online. Then Winter Break hits and your buddy list is hit by an apparent bubonic plague. Because IM is so popular among us college kids, it is befitting that we should set forth a list of rules—nay commandments—to abide by. So here, in no particular order, is the prevailing Instant Messaging Dogma.

I. In your AIM profile, there's no need to throw in loads of advertising space about your girlfriend/boyfriend/horse.
Granted, I may be a jaded, single fool, but when your profile looks like this:

Baby, I love you. I love you. Oh baby I love you
and miss you. See you soon. I love you. Baby, baby.
[Insert rows of nonsensical IM kissy-faces]

It's just annoying and disturbing. A subtle message is fine, but if you use either MUAH or those god-awful AIM faces (more on those in a sec), then AOL should spike you and you should be forced to communicate your rampant I LOVE YOU's through smoke signals you utterly whipped prick. (And that goes for you dickwads with the “Taken” Buddy Icons. Go fuck yourself!)

II. Please stop with LOL.

Only about .4% of people actually “Laugh out Loud” and they are retarded. And don't give me this ROTFLMAO (Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off). I'd actually like to see you try this just so you can snap your neck as you fall out of your chair. Good. Nothing to LOL about now, is there?

III. Don't IM just to say “HI.”

Talking on AIM is the fast food equivalent of actual conversations. Keep the messages short and sweet. I assure you, you are not that interesting of a person. And if you were, why am I talking to you behind a keyboard and miles of bandwidth?

IV. You don't have to IM someone every time they are online.

Nobody is that interesting. The average person spends more time wiping their ass than talking to their parents. No one can be conversational every time you IM them.

V. Stop with these oblique away messages like “Not here,” “Away,” “Gone,” or using an AIM face.

If you had to shit, fine. Tell us, we're concerned for your well being. And for the love of god don't use the default away message: “I am away from my computer right now.” Don't you get disappointed when you see that?

VI. If you are talking on a cell phone with someone and IMing that person simultaneously, you deserve the impending radiation cancer.

VII. Don't ever send more than five messages in a row to someone.

All that beeping could give someone a brain hemorrhage. It sounds like a damn Star Wars movie on my computer!

VIII. Stop using AIM faces.

This is the lowest point of human interaction. It is more evolved to go to your friend's house and throw your own shit at their face.

IX. If someone sends you a link or a song to download, you are not obligated to ever visit that link or download that song.

Making a suggestion is fine, but don't pester them about it for days to come. You are interrupting their porn time.

X. Blocking someone is about the cruelest thing you can do to them.

Worse than murder. So if someone pisses you off, don't block them. Ignore them. Fill them with doubt as to whether you are still at your computer. Blocking is basically the Agent Orange of AIM abuse. Savagely cruel, use only when necessary.

XI. One “Bye” is all that is needed to end a convo.

Too many convos drag on and on like the first hour of Pearl Harbor. They look a little like this:

Dojo69: Ok man, later.
Buttfuk27: Yea, take it east.
Buttfuk27: easy*
Dojo69: Yeah I will
Dojo69: Later
Buttfuk27: Later, dude
Dojo69: Goodnite
Buttfuk27: Oh hey
Dojo69: Yeah?
Buttfuk27: Did you finish your paper?
Dojo69: Yeah
Buttfuk27: Oh okay, cool
Dojo69: ok, seeya later
Buttfuk27: Yep, bye
Dojo69: Bye
Buttfuk27: Night

Previous message was not received by Dojo69 because of error: User Dojo69 really left this time.

XII. Don't try to describe your looks in your screen name.

If your screen name is SexyGurl25, and you look like the love child of ALF and Carrot Top, that's false advertising. Besides, it really isn't nice to trick MegaStud21, who is actually a 40-year-old unemployed bald man that installed a webcam in your shower while you were at class.

XIII. Girls, it is not necessary to make your profiles look like the lost works of Emily Dickinson.

A couple of clever lines is fine, but honestly, no one's turning to your profile as their daily source of sonnets.

XIV. Don't just type “yea” to your friend when you have nothing to say.

I understand the flashing IM is intimidating, and a lot of people need to have the last word, but the “yea” is basically IM code for: “I have lost a lot of interest in this convo, and was kind of hoping we could just drift apart peacefully.”

XV. No more than two numbers in your screen name.

Three is okay, but only if it's to signal your birthday. It's already hard to remember what you decided to call yourself online, we really don't need the first 100 digits of pi. If your SN is: Queef67483857, just shorten it to Queef67. Or just Queef. I can't imagine too many people picking that one, it's too honest.

XVI. Don't type “BRB” then drive to Mexico.

BRB has a 10 minute window. After that, it's away message time. AOL should install a feature that will automatically send gay porn to all your friends under your name once your comp is idle for 11 minutes after a BRB.

XVII. You can tell the mood a person is in by how much they type.


PeeWee12: Hey, man.
Meat10: Yo, what's up, dude?
= Happy

PeeWee12: Hey, man
Meat10: Hey
= Melancholy

PeeWee12: Hey, man
Meat10: Go fuck yourself.
= Not happy.

XVIII. Don't put quizzes in your profile.

What is the goal, exactly? To figure out who is your most prolific stalker?

XIX. If the Internet kicks you off, and then you sign back on, it is your duty to re-start the convo.

I don't know why this is, but if the other person IM's you with “kicked off?” they are obsessed with you.

XX. If someone sends you one of those IM's that say you must IM 10 other people, in order to save a child dying of leukemia in Indonesia, drive to his house and beat him to death with his own keyboard.

Then, take a deep breath, and go check your email.

More Golden Rules: