Family, friends, and colleagues see when you are online. When a person communicates with his or her contacts through Google hangouts, Gmail adds them to the left of the email screen for fast and convenient access. One can click a name or image in the panel to open a chat window where you can start a text or video chat. Thus you can see when any of the hangout contacts are online. It is the same for you too, these contacts see when you are online and in like manner, you appear on the left of their email screen.
PREVENTING GMAIL FROM AUTOMATICALLY REVEALING YOUR ONLINE STATUS
If a person wants to control whether his contacts can tell when they are online or not, he would need to turn off the chat feature for all contacts. This is achieved by:
- Click the gear icon in the top right corner of the GMAIL screen
- In the menu that appears, click Settings
- Select the chat tab
- Click the radio button next to chat off to hide your online status and chat availability
- Click save changes
Gmail reloads, and the chat window will no longer be visible.
MUTING NOTIFICATION IN GMAIL
In muting notifications, persons will still be able to see you online, but you won’t receive alerts if they message you. If a person wants to mute the notification of chat for a set amount of time, he:
- Clicks the arrow next to his or her name in the chat panel
- In the next menu, click the “mute notifications for drop-down” menu
- Click the amount of time he or she would like to mute notifications. This could be hours, for days or weeks.
CONTROLLING INVITES IN HANGOUTS
Google Hangouts is one of the most popular ways teams or persons with some common interests and goals meet and speak online. Google hangouts preserve one’s conversations and groups, thus a person can keep coming back and adding to his or her chat. One could even set a video conversation back up too.
A person could exercise some control over who contacts them or invites them for specific purposes or events. This is easily carried out by:
- Go back into the menu under the arrow next to your name and select “customize invite settings”
- The next screen shows controls that allow specified groups of persons to contact you directly or send an invitation.
Conclusively, turning off one’s chat status in Gmail can be very helpful thus:
- You do not have the luxury of time at the very moment to chat with anyone online
- You may be avoiding chatting with a particular person
- You may be totally engrossed in a particular chat or project and do not need distractions from others