How to Behave in Internet Chat Rooms
Cyberspace chatis a great way of connecting people with similar interests. It comes with its own etiquette, or "netiquette", which may confuse or even intimidate a novice. Here are some suggestions on how to take part in web chat without causing undue offence. This guide to Internet chat room behaviour ranges from creating a persona, clarity, grammar, web abuse, and the safety element.
Find the right chat room.Whether you are interested in unusual pets, horoscopes or classic music there is likely to be a chat room, discussion board or forum that caters for you. Have a search to find one you like the look of.
Know the rules.The site will most likely have a rules or frequently asked questions page, read them carefully. Many sites are very specific about what is allowed and what isn't, and you don't want to start off on the wrong foot.
Create a persona.To the site you will need to input a User name. It's not necessary for this to be your real name - use any you like. Many websites also like you to create a profile, this gives you a chance to let the other Users know a little about you - however it's not the place to enter any personal details, not even your surname. Your town is as specific as you need to be.
"Lurk" before you leap.Before you post a message, or jump into the conversation, 'lurk' a little. Get a feel for the topic being discussed and the tone being used. This also stops you from repeating another User's posting.
Be clear.When you are ready to post a message keep it to the same topic and be concise. No one will read a long involved block of text. On the same note, don't waste peoples time by posting gibberish or by repeating yourself, this will make you very unpopular.
- If you are making a specific comment about an earlier message,include that part of the message as a quotewith your response below.
Use your manners.Dominating the conversation is a no no, as is making rude comments. If you wouldn't do it in real life, don't do it on the internet.
Respect grammar.Although the internet is less formal than other forms of written communication the same grammatical rules apply.
- The only exception may be the use of acronyms such as BTW - 'by the way', LOL - 'laugh out loud' or FYI - 'for your information'. These acronyms change and develop all the time, so keep up with the zeitgeist.
- Never type in capitals, as it looks like you are shouting, which is rude.
- Avoid using excessive punctuation. You may think it emphasizes your point but it can make your comments appear sarcastic, or even condescending.
- Read your message before you post it to make sure the meaning is clear, and to check for any mistakes.
Use emoticons and smilies on occasion.Online communication lacks the tone and body language that we use to express ourselves in face to face conversations. Therefore the use of smilies, or emoticons, are often applied to clarify the meaning of a posting. There are thousands of variations of these, if you are not sure of a particular smilies meaning have a quick internet search. Use thesesparingly, a posting littered with smilies can make it difficult to read.
Report web abuse.All web chat rooms, forums and message boards have a moderator. Report any abusive messages to them. If you are the one posting the offending message the moderator may well eject you from the site.
Keep safe.Don't give out any personal details - this includes your address, phone number, bank details, full name, passwords or work place. Be suspicious of people who ask to meet you in person. There is no guarantee that they have been honest about who they really are.
Enjoy your chat time.Approach it with a good sense of humour, a desire to make and maintain friendships and to discuss topics actively and calmly.
QuestionWhat if I send them nasty things or porn sites?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on the rules of a chat room. It can result in an investigation based on what you send and how old you are. So please steer clear if needed.Thanks!
How do I clarify an incorrect assumption a chat room politely?
- Abusive messages consist of:
- Directly insulting another participant
- Profane language
- Racist and sexist comments
- Attacks on the persons moderating the chat room
- Where the chat room lacks rules running it, ask to have some clear guidelines put in place. To not have rules or guidelines is to risk having arbitrary decisions made by those moderating it; this also prevents you as a participant from understanding the parameters of use of the chat room.
Video: How To Behave In Internet Chat Rooms
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