Monday, 15 November 2010

Leave-taking online

Another Twitter-inspired post.  Someone just wrote:

Is it unreasonable to expect that chats should end with a farewell or sudden-unexpected-internet-fail? We say hi but never bye.
Makes me think of how difficult I find it to end a chat conversation--much worse than phone. How we 'take our leave' in conversation has been written about, but do the patterns remarked upon in that literature spill over into online conversations? How does politeness work in chat, especially with regard to ending or beginning conversations?

1 comment:

  1. I'm struck by the differences that I see in email usage the workplace.

    I normally bracket my messages with "Hi, ." and "Regards, Malcolm" (often abbreviated as "mm").

    A number of my colleagues omit the "Hi" and the "Regards".

    Some omit the greeting and signoff completely.

    Others omit the greeting and signoff *only* in second and subsequent messages in the same thread. Although I understand that the greeting and signoff are more (!) redundant after the first message, it still seems a bit abrupt to me.

    It's not just online, however, that differences in 'ave et vale' are found.

    Several years ago I spent 6 weeks in the Paris office of the company I was working for.

    First thing in the morning, people would greet each other effusively (hugs, kisses etc), and then for the rest of the day would pass each other in the office without so much as making eye contact, never mind nodding or saying "hi". It took me a little while to accept that they were not upset with me, or being impolite.