BBM is an incredible tool and fun messaging client. The platform has millions of users and it’s the best way to stay in touch with your friends and colleagues that are also on the BlackBerry Platform. With BlackBerry 10, it looks like BBM is only going to get better with video chat and a new user interface. But there’s some people out there that don’t seem to understand basic social norms and it’s important we call them out. By doing so, we can all agree to a set of best practices for BBM or perhaps RIM can implement new features to try and quell these miscreants.
1. People who don’t speak your language
It’s odd when someone adds you on BBM and not only starts talking in a language you don’t understand, but is also sending you messages with characters that look like something out of a science fiction movie. The anglo-saxon last name of someone on your BBM contact list should be a pretty good indicator that they don’t speak your Asian/Middle-Eastern/African language.
2. The “Hi.” people
This happens all the time when you get people on BBM that just want to chat. They start a chat with simply writing “Hi” with zero follow-up. Not only does this violate the fundamentals of good conversation, but it makes you wonder if they do that in real life. Do they walk up to a coworker and just say “hi” with nothing to follow? It’s like they’re asking you to entertain them.
3. Chain letter idiots
What world do you live in where you actually think something bad is going to happen if you don’t rebroadcast a message? How have you not heard of Chain Letters by now? The reason we don’t understand these people is because if you’re even reading this article, you probably have the wherewithal to understand how completely insane these letters are and you don’t have a single friend believes in this stuff either.
4. People who constantly broadcast
Hey, you know what happens when you broadcast? My BlackBerry vibrates, and a little red light starts blinking. Now, I have to wonder if that blinking red light is an emergency at work or…wait, nope, it’s you sending a message to everyone that says “sry for the bc, just cleaning contacts. plz reply”. Great, thanks. Now I forgot what I was working on. And your BBM contacts are stored in the cloud so your message doesn’t make any sense anyways.
5. Friend collectors
Have you ever gotten one of those messages that says “Plz add my friends:” with a huge list of BlackBerry pins following? It’s a group of BBM friend collectors that are constantly looking to grow their contact list past the 5000 friend mark. But why? There’s a reason facebook caps you at 5000 friends. Because nobody on Planet Earth has that many friends. Sure, you may be somehow linked to 5000 people, but at around 1,500 you’re not in the “friend” circle any more, you’re in the “acquaintance” department. At 5000 you’re collecting a group of people who you will never see and have nothing in common with.
Now many of you are going to suggest ways to stop some of these such as “just delete them” or “get BeBuzz”. These are valid suggestions but it doesn’t tackle the root of the problem. BBM is a social network and a good social network needs controls, permissions and preferences. Would it be so hard to get a “silence” feature on BBM for particular contacts? Here’s to hoping that the new BBM takes into account all the ways people have been abusing it and how we can prevent them from ruining BBM for the rest of us.