Problems You’re Too Busy to Talk About
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 22:03
At the guide, our staff is known for having strong opinions about pretty much everything. We’re taking stands on the pop culture issues that really matter, from tween stars to the movies that make us smile, from catchy pop songs to the stories that are dominating the Internet.
here are few things millennials (and Hoya staffers) love more than Google Chat. For the uninitiated, it’s like any instant messaging service, except that it’s linked to your Google account. People you frequently email will automatically appear on the list — otherwise, you have to invite contacts to chat. It’s unclear if it’s this exclusivity that makes it so much more appealing than Facebook chat or the now-defunct AIM. Maybe it’s because it makes us feel more mature — there’s nothing classy about being on Facebook all the time, but keeping your Gmail always open means that you’re important, that people are constantly contacting you.
Yet despite our love of this Google service, there are some things our tech-savvy comrades do that infuriate us — our Gchat pet peeves. First and foremost are those who set their statuses as "busy." This places a red dot next to their names, and before you send them a message, G-Chat reminds you that "[Person] is busy. You may be interrupting." We fail to see the point of this option. Gchat not only lets you log out if you’re actually busy but also lets you make yourself "invisible," making it seem to everyone else that you’re not logged in, but letting you send any emergency Gchats if you need to.
This makes the "busy" option purely a vanity move. You’re telling everyone that hordes of friends/acquaintances/admirers need to stop contacting you because you are just too enthralled in other very important things to actually have a conversation with them. If you were actually busy, you’d make yourself "invisible," but then people wouldn’t be able to contact you, which is the attention you really wanted. They wouldn’t know how actually busy you were if you weren’t on Gchat with a red dot next to your name.
Theoretically, maybe you’re waiting for one very important person to Gchat you. You want him or her to see that you’re online but don’t want anyone else to send you a message. First, this situation is pretty unique, so we can safely assume that this isn’t true for most of the people who use "busy." Second, just give in to the green dot and be "available." Maybe — just maybe — one or two people will message you while you wait. Tell them you can’t talk. No one’s feelings are hurt, and you look way, way less pretentious.
We also can’t stand people with dumb Gchat statuses. Maybe 5 percent of the time they’re something funny or insightful. The rest of the time, though, they’re links to songs, psuedo-philosophical quotes or, worst of all, a countdown to how many finals that person has to complete. "3/5 and then Miami." "12/20 pages." Is this a humblebrag? Am I supposed to be jealous of how much work you’ve done or sympathetic toward how much you still have to do? Everyone has finals. Suck it up.
In a way, it just goes back to how ridiculous social media can be. Everything about it is extremely vain, and it makes us all hyper self-conscious. We wonder how people will view us based on what we tweet, post on Facebook and send to Instagram. We’ve become obsessed with managing our images so that we come across as cool or powerful or aloof. Strange behaviors on Gchat have just become another part of trying to control the way people see us.
Stop worrying about whether what we Snapchat makes us look cool, if we’re tweeting jokes that are funny enough or if we’ve liked too many things on our crushes’ walls. Gchat is fun, but stop taking it so seriously and remember what it’s here for: gossiping about the people who are sitting in front of you, sharing jokes with your friends during boring classes and sending memes to your friends.