Instant Message Etiquette for Men

Instant messaging has become an everyday part of life.  Whether it’s through AIM or a social networking site, millions of people use it everyday as an easy way to stay in touch.

A while back, I gave you some advice on talking to a girl through instant messenger. Now I will give you some guidelines to follow when talking to other men.  There are some unwritten rules that are required to maintain a sense of masculinity when talking to another man on IM.

Failing to follow these rules can result in a man being perceived as a queer—and nobody wants that.  Here are five rules all men must follow when talking online.

Rule #1: Dispense with the Pleasantries

When it comes to starting a conversation over the internet, men should never bother with pleasantries such as “Hi” or “How are you?”  Just get right into the conversation.  Saying hi is for fags.

Here’s the wrong and right way to start an instant message conversation. Fellow contributors Frank Wheeler and Don Valdez will show you a few examples.

Wrong Way

Right Way

Rule #2: No Emoticons

Emoticons are perfectly fine to use when talking to a woman but when you are talking to another dude, THEY ARE OUT OF THE QUESTION.  If I see some stupid smiley face with red cheeks on my screen, I will immediately begin to question your sexuality.  There is no acceptable situation where a man can use an emoticon.


Wrong Way


Right Way

Rule #3: Don’t Worry About Awkward Pauses

When talking online, men will go long periods of time without saying anything to each other and then bring something completely different up two hours later, not even realizing their conversation had stopped.  That’s because men don’t worry about awkward pauses.

When talking to a girl online—particularly one you like, there is a constant pressure to keep the conversation going.  Men don’t give a shit about this.  So don’t try and keep the conversation going by saying crap like “So what else is new?”

Wrong Way

The right way would obviously be not saying anything.

Rule # 4 Don’t EVER Write LOL

Writing LOL is for teenage girls.  Don’t ever write LOL in an instant message conversation to another man.  This is the one rule you must follow at all times.  If your buddy says something funny, you should write “haha” or “that’s funny” instead of LOL.

Come to think of it, men should avoid using any sort of abbreviation when talking online.  TTYL, ROFL, LMAO—all these make you sound like a homo.

Wrong Way

Right Way

Rule # 5: Saying Goodbye is Optional

When talking to a woman on instant messenger, it’s polite to say goodbye when leaving.  When talking to a man, it’s completely optional to do this.  If your friend signs off without saying goodbye, you should never be offended, particularly if there is a break in the conversation.

Wrong Way

Right Way

11 comments for “Instant Message Etiquette for Men

  1. Deuce McGee
    June 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Great post! :-)

  2. ThatAintKosher
    June 22, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I have a guy friend who ALWAYS uses LOL. Sometimes twice in one sentence. Example:

    “LOL I thought you were coming over LOL”

    I can’t decide whether he’s gay or an idiot. Either way it’s super annoying.

  3. June 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    He’s probably gay. He should give Frank Wheeler a call.

  4. June 23, 2010 at 9:41 am

    hahahaha! Great post

  5. Pingback: IM Etiquette for Men | The Select News
  6. Deuce McGee
    June 23, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    The more I read this post, the more curious I become about Frank Wheeler’s mom……..

  7. June 23, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    top post!

  8. June 28, 2010 at 12:42 am

    I had a LOL dude telling me to use emoticons in my blogpost, evidently emos convey the message better it seemed, back then I couldn’t tell the guy to back off as it was a first comment from a stranger for any of my posts. Nice observation on IM etiquette…

  9. Joe
    December 31, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Since the mid 90s, I pretty much just “knew” not to use emoticons with dudes, except perhaps ones involving beer, blood, etc.

  10. May 11, 2013 at 9:00 pm



    HATS OFF GUYS….!!!


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