Wayne Adult Community Center

From the January, 2002 Cyberspace News

Chatting Online

Joining an online chat room holds many attractions. Where else but on the web can you communicate with people from all over the world on an endless variety of topics? You can also use a screen name and remain anonymous which allows a person who, face-to-face, is usually shy and introverted person the chance to be extroverted and talkative online.

Online chat rooms are a fun way to meet people, learn new things and make new friends. Obviously it also has its risks since you have no way of knowing whether the person you are chatting with is really who or what they say they are. Criminals have been known to use chat rooms to choose their victims.

There are literally thousands of chat rooms from which to choose. One of the best is: (note: there is no www in this web address). There you will find a variety of chat topics including business and finance, computers and Internet, cultures and community, entertainment, family and home, games, government, politics, health and wellness, hobbies and crafts, life events, music, and religion. You ll also find a schedule of their live events.

Your Internet Service Provider (whether it s America Online, Earthlink, etc.) probably also has a multitude of chat rooms from which to choose.

Here are a few hints that will help once you decide to join a chat room:

Never give out any personal information such as telephone numbers or your home address.

Never use your real name as your log-in or screen name.

If you find someone who lives in the same area as you, don t set up meetings and phone conversations until you are completely comfortable that they are who they say they are. And if you are going to speak by phone, make sure you ve got Caller ID blocking so that the other person cannot track you.

Never type in all caps; in chat systems this is known as "shouting" and is bad form.

Stay calm when you think that someone appears to be rude or is causing trouble.

More information on what to do when someone in a chat room is being rude will appear in next month's publication.



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