December 7, 2004
As people spend more time online and logged into instant messaging services, it's inevitable that there are times they just can't respond. That's why the "away message," set up to be sent automatically from someone's account, has become so popular.
In the early days, such messages were pretty basic: "showering," "at class," "eating" or "brb" (be right back). But now people are getting more creative.
Alan Danzis, a 23-year-old Web user from Hoboken, N.J., often relies on quotes from his favorite TV characters:
- "I know you'll never love me. I know that I'm a monster. But you treat me like a man, and that's ..." (Spike from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer")
- "Me fail English? That's umpossible." (Ralph from "The Simpsons")
The staff at AOL RED, America Online's service for teens, also sees pithy one-liners, such as:
- "What Im Lookin For Isnt On Ebay"
- "Beware! I shout out random facts!"
- " Life: Priceless For everything else ... 'Dad, I need your MasterCard!'"
And Jason Elsky liked the "to do" list his 22-year-old sister, Michelle, recently used as an away message after graduating from Indiana University and moving back home with her parents:
- 1.Get a job
2.Get a car
3.Move out of the house
4.Get a boyfriend
5.Dump the boyfriend and get a dog