From sign on, how long do you give someone before sending an IM?

Awkward title, I know. From the time you see one of your friends sign on to an instant message program, how long do you give them before sending them an IM.

I give 15 minutes. I figure many of them are like me and have at least one instant message program which logs on immediately as soon as they turn the computer on. Sometimes, they’re just on to check email or get an address and don’t plan to be on for more than a couple of minutes.

Yet, I still have friends who shoot me an IM within 30 seconds of logging on. I find this annoying.

Obviously, if there is something urgent, that is another story.

I don’t do many IMs anyway, but sometimes I send one almost immediately when I see somebody sign on. Then I give them plenty of time to answer. I figure it’s not like a phone, they’ll get to it when they can.

I usually sign on in invisible mode. When I see someone else sign on, I usually wait a few minutes if I want to talk to them to give them time to set situated.

Depends on who it is. My best friend, I message her as soon as she comes online and she does the same. Anyone else, I’ll only talk to them if I have something important to say, so that may be as soon as they come on or later, depending on when I think of it.

If it’s important, right away, but I understand if they don’t answer right away.

If it’s just someone I hang out and BS with, five or ten minutes – let them check their email, etc.

I consider someone’s signing on to be a tacit invitation to send them an IM. If they don’t want to be IMed while they check their email or get situated or whatever, then they should not sign until after they do these things, and not set their computers to sign them on automatically.

That being said, I do often wait a few minutes before IMing if for whatever reason I do not want to appear to be overly desperate to chat with them.

I haven’t had sound on my IMs for many years now, so I don’t know when people log in or out because the window is never in the forefront.

If I was staring at the window, it means I’d been waiting for someone to log on, and then I’ll hit them up right away…maybe a couple minute buffer to see if they IM me first.

I sort of miss the days when I was excited to see people online…

I very rarely initiate conversation anymore, but did tonight, and I sent it within thirty seconds of a friend signing on because I wanted to know if he was watching the debate too.

It depends on the person. There are some folks on my IM list that I speak to once every six months. Others get an IM withing 10 seconds of log in (if I see them log on).

I rarely IM people without an actual purpose, so I agree with the “depends on who it is” sentiment. I always give the 2 minute “accidental sign-on” buffer. If it’s somebody I have something important to say to, I usually go for it right after that waiting period. If it’s more than a “somebody” (especially in the love interest sense) I usually wait longer. I guess it’s a combination of hoping they initiate the conversation and not wanting to seem stalker-ish.

I can’t remember the last time I sent an IM. I tend to get annoyed if someone messages me within a few seconds of sign-on, and I definitely get annoyed when they send message after message asking why I’m not answering.

I only IM with one person and I do it through Steam which I have to log onto. If he’s online I typically say hello straight away and chat for as long as I feel like it before doing something else.