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Chat Room Etiquette - Putting Your Best Cyberfoot Forward

Certain behaviors are acceptable in some chat rooms and frowned on in others. Here are some suggestions to help make your chatting experience as enjoyable as possible.

  • The best advice is to be nice. Don't start arguments and if someone else does, refuse to allow yourself to be drawn into it.
  • Each chat room has its own set of rules which should be read before you join in any conversation. It's not a bad idea to "lurk" for a bit first, just watching and reading without saying anything. It's a good way to get a feel for what's going on in the room.
  • There's a term used in chat rooms for typing the same word or sentence over and over. It's called scrolling and chat room participants really hate it. It's rude and disruptive behavior that you don't want to be guilty of doing.
  • Free chat rooms, which are open to anyone who can type, are often the target for simpletons who seem to take great pleasure in making inappropriate comments or insulting others in the room. The term for this is flaming and there's little tolerance for people who do it. The best way to handle these people is to just ignore them.
  • Try to be relaxed and take part in the conversation without examining every participant as a potential romantic encounter. Allow your personality to show through your words and those who are interested will be naturally attracted.
  • If you find someone you'd like to talk to privately, send them a private message, but don't be offended if they don't respond. Some people are inundated with private messages and may be too busy to accept another one. This can happen a lot in the adult chat rooms, and if it happens to you, just try again later or move on to someone else.
  • Don't believe everything you read. It's way too easy to be deceptive online and unfortunately many people lie about who they are, what they do, what they look like, and other aspects of their life, sometimes including their gender, or marital status. Don't get carried away with someone you've just met. Even online, a relationship deserves time to grow.
  • Everyone in a chat room can see everything you type as well as your profile. Never give personal contact information such as your full name, address, phone number, Social Security number, passwords, where you work, or other details that someone could use to seek you out or steal your identity.
  • After talking with someone for only a few days or weeks, it may feel like you've known this person far longer. Don't rush into a relationship with someone you hardly know. Take the time to learn if you're truly compatible.
  • Believe it or not, some people will send pictures of themselves that may be old and outdated or doctored up in a photo editor. The worst ones use somebody else's picture. If the picture looks suspicious or doesn't match up with details they've shared or listed in their profile, be very cautious if you choose to continue chatting.
  • Occasionally someone may want to send something to you through the mail. Be very wary and if at all possible, use a post office box. If they insist on a home or work address, you might consider moving on to someone else or blocking them from further correspondence.