Here’s an interesting question: do you change your nick every time you step away from your desk, when logged into any IRC channel or any other IM protocol? I mean, what if you’re only going to take a leak and come right back? That shouldn’t take long. It’s not a complicated procedure. And what if you’re planning a very short trip to the kitchen, the run-in, grab and get out kind, the whole premise of which is to make sure you’re not caught, by your wife/husband/mom/kid/brother/sister?
I for one, don’t change my nick for such trifles. Any time I change my nick to linuxlala-afk or set IM status to Away, you can rest assured I won’t be back, not in the near future in any case. When I take the pains to announce I’m going away, do you really expect me to finish things off quickly and get right back? No sireee, not me! When I go away, I stay away, for at least long enough to justify the nick change.
Unfortunately, any time I don’t change my nick and go away, I still take my sweet time to return. This is not always deliberate on my part. Most times what happens is that the short trip to the kitchen turns into a delightful and engrossing indulgence that craves company. So, anything I’m taking a bite of (biscuit, glass of juice, some other snack), I go around the house offering to everybody else. If they say yes, not only do I prepare it for them, I spend some quality time with them, discussing random tid-bits, for as is probably the case with all of you, my parents don’t IM. As a result, what was supposed to be a quick in and out operation, becomes a long break that just won’t end. What’s worse, not once during the long break do I feel guilty for not changing my nick as a service to others.
Anyway, I thought that was going to be the last example, but believe it or not, someone just rang the bell, and I had to run out to see who it was. Obviously I didn’t change my nick before I ran off. In case you’re curious, it was the errand boy from the local medicine shop here to drop off some of dad’s medicines. Since we live in a world where monetary exchange is an absolute must to buy anything, I spent the next few minutes hunting for cash to pay the fellow for the pills. If you think I once gave thought to anybody who might’ve been inconvenienced by me not changing my nick, you’ve not been paying attention to anything I’ve written in the first three grafs. Go back and reread my dear fellow.
As this was going to be a totally useless post from the word go, I don’t have anything further or meaningful to bring this post to a conclusion. You can continue to change your nick every time you move away from the keyboard, or you can be ruthless and carefree as I am. The choice is yours to make, because at the end of the day, there can be only two kinds of people who IM, those who change their nicks for trivial reasons and those who don’t. Take your pick and be proud.