I don’t like when people send me messages on Facebook. I don’t know if you’ve recently gotten on the huge networking site, but there is a way to send people messages as long as they’re visiting the site, too. It’s not so much that I don’t enjoy conversations with the people, it’s more the fact that I feel like a Facebook Instant Message is more of a sneak attack. When I get on systems that are meant for messaging others-like the extremely popular AIM- I am using that service for the sole purpose of talking to other people. Sure, I’ve been guilty of the occasional chat-ignore or pretending that I’m busy and can’t talk when really I don’t want to talk to certain people, but for the most part if I sign into a chat service like AIM, I’m there to chat. Even Gmail is okay by me because I sign into Gmail to communicate with other people, and I only really have the emails of a few close friends so I don’t mind if they chat with me.
But Facebook is a different monster. When I get on Facebook, I have no intentions of having immediate chats with someone. In fact, my intentions are more to avoid the immediate chat and to go about communication in a more passive way. I write on your wall, you write me back, I may or may not choose to write you back…etc. Maybe once in a while the occasional Facebook message (the tradition Inbox kind) where I can tell you exactly why I’m writing you, what I want, and you can respond whenever you feel like it without me assuming (or knowing) you’re ignoring me. You can take more time in what you think, say, and write.
I guess what it boils down to is I feel like Facebook Instant Messages are like someone jumping out a bush at you and assuming you want to make conversation just because you’re out in public. It jolts me, scares me, and if I had virtual mace, I would virtually mace you.