Why are you always "online" and "away"? The question I usually had to answer (not much nowadays) if I replied to a ping on IM while on "away" status. We all probably do it. Show our IM status as not available (away, busy, or even invisible) when we want to pick and choose who we would like to chat with and who we would like to avoid/ignore.
"Busy" status is a strange thing (and I don't keep my status as "busy" anymore). You're more likely to get into trouble when you're in a "busy" status than when you're "away". I have heard the same accusation again and again, about being snobbish when I used to ignore messages being in a "busy" status. That didn't really work except to annoy many of my friends.In a way it is understandable as you are really telling them to bugger off.
"Away" is my favourite status, which people on my contact list should already know. Its a strange status in a way, because when somebody pings you and you start chatting they don't seem to get offended by your "away" status, at the same time when you just ignore them they'll think you're really away so no need to worry too much again. And you can always respond later to tell them you were really away.
But my favourite of all is the "auto reply" mode. You just set up an auto reply and whenever somebody pings you, they'll get a set reply telling them to call back because you're "away" or "in a meeting" or "on the phone" or whatever. As long as its not a general "busy" you'll have more than sufficient justification to ignore the messages!
I find invisible mode a bit spooky. Whenever somebody chats with you online and you can't see them being online, its a bit annoying in the first place. You also feel you are not in control (the "invisible" persons are) when it comes to picking who to ping. And when they ping you, you have to respond or ignore without seeing them on you list of "online contacts". I would like to be able to send an "auto response" to all those who ping from their "invisible" status like this: "Sorry, I don't chat with persons who are not visible. Please show yourself if you want to communicate." Probably better to stay in "away" status and ignore the "invisibles" altogether!