Right now, I have five guys with pending requests via Skype. The only comments that they left on the request message go along the lines of "Can we chat?" or "May I speak with you?" These types of requests just don't leave me much room to gauge whether I would like to chat to them or not.
You see, my general policy with Skype and other IM services like Yahoo, GoogleTalk, MSN, etc. is that I only add people in my contacts list if they're either: a) Family, b) Friend, c) Work Colleague (online or 'in real life'), or d) Someone that I at least had some form of communication with (email, comments exchange, etc.) and would like to be able to keep in touch with at some stage.
I just don't have much time for "Hey, how you doin'?" kind of chatting with total strangers. I'm also a bit weary of people who just want to do a 'chat up' or those who want to get free advice on just about everything under the sun. Or worse, those who're only trying to get me to do something for them (buy their product, pay for their services, etc.).
However, even though I am feeling a bit cautious, I also want to remain open to the possibilities of meeting great people. There's always that part of me that wonders whether that one connection with a 'stranger' will bring something good to our lives in some way. After all, I've met a lot of friends and more --- by connecting with 'strangers' online.
This brings me now to one of my Skype-related pet peeves: Why doesn't Skype have a "Reply to this request" function? Or, am I just missing it? Right now, as far as I can see, when someone sends a request, I only have the following options: a) Allow the person to contact me and to see me whenever I'm online (and add him/her to my Contacts List); b) Do not allow the person to see me when I'm online; and c) To block the person to contact me in the future.
It seems like it's all or nothing. It doesn't give you an option to ask why that person wanted to contact you in the first place and such. No room for negotiation. That's why I wish there was a way to get that changed.
Otherwise, I just end up choosing option B most of the time if I don't know the person making the request and/or if he/she doesn't make it clear why he/she wants to chat on Skype.
What about you? Do you use Skype? What other IMs do you use? Do you add people that you do not know in to your Contacts List? Why or why not? How do you handle chat request from total strangers?
Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.