http://www.perlmonks.org?node_id=85990

A lot of monks here are using various tools to stay connected to the CB without reloading, and a good number of them actually do not look at (this part of) the screen for a while... for example when another window pops up over it, or a colleague or a boss wonder "how is the job going?".

I think maybe a /away {on|off} command could be useful. It would just add a little text ("away", "", "A", whatever...) to the right of the nick, indicating that anybody wanting to talk to this person should use /msg...

Naturaaly, once you log on again, your status is *not* away.