Chat rooms - yay or nay?

@arkaf61 (10881)
Canada
April 8, 2007 8:16pm CST
What do you think about public chat rooms? Do you ever use them? WHen I want to talk to friends I usually resort to my own real life friends, but I know many people that frequent chat rooms for their need to talk and socialize. There are many places out there where you can chat with lots of different people. You can even specify what is your main purpose for the chat - friendship, men looking for women, women looking for men,men looking for men, women for women... well the list is big :)- I have nothing against it, but I learned very early on my adventure trough the internet that certain things can be really dangerous. People seem to feel safe wrapped in the anonymity and often disclose more personal information than they should. I have a few friends that although were lucky in a way, really suffered from the consequences of offering too much personal information. From people tracing them, calling at unacceptable hours , appearing at their door step.... Of course much worse can happen, that's why I said they were, in a way, lucky. Another trend I find much in chat rooms is that a lot of people are turning to them looking for love , for a relationship. NOthing wrong with this either, in theory, but people being what they are - just human - this creates incredible situations. One of my friends started and ended hundreds of relationships through the internet, people she met in chat rooms. Each time she tells me " this is it. This person is the one I"m looking for." often she ends up meeting the "person she is looking for " . Ooops I'm afraid things are not always as they seem. It's so easy to sound nice in a chat room....Again, she has been lucky, so far. Other than having one of them defaming her all over the net, another one sending rude and inappropriate emails after their relationship ended, and other small things like that, nothing else happened to her. But it could. ANother downside of finding for a relationship in chat rooms, is actually how easy it is. And the fact that not everything is what it appears. The number of people falling in love and leaving their spouses for someone they met on a chat room is high. The outcome is not that positive either, after messing up and realizing the their internet soul mate actually isn't, then they find themselves alone, or trying to get back into a marriage that doesn't exist anymore. I've actually witness this long time ago, even before chat rooms became so popular. I was invited by a friend to this great chat. She was such a fun person that I thought it would be kind of interesting and I did. It was nice at first. General conversation, nice people, lots of laughs. Among the many users there was a couple. They seemed nice too, and as explained by a close friend later, their marriage seemed fine. However, people are people. It's easy to feel attracted to new people, new things - the grass is always greener.. and all that :). The fact is that it was easy - even for me that don't notice most things in front of my nose most of the times - to see that there was a special bond between the husband and another female that used to go there as well. HUsband ended up leaving wife of 11 years to go meet this new person in Brazil. Of course real life is not the fantasy land that sometimes looks and he was back in Portugal a few months after trying to get his marriage together agaain. I don't know all the details because I stopped going to the chat by them. But apparently the attempt to rebuild the marriage didn't work to well and he ended up attempting suicide. I know of many other cases and even entire web sites dedicated to provide chat rooms for married people that are looking for affairs. Again I have nothing against that as long as both parties agree with this, but it upsets me when, as the majority of the cases is, the other side of the relationship has no idea of what 's happening. Of course these are just some of the negative sides of this question. Many people do find good friends in chat rooms, and many people have positive experiences. But just to be on the safe side, I stay awaw... actually that's not true. I don't go to chat rooms because I don't have a special need to make new friends. I have many already. What about you? Do you go to chat rooms? What do you think about them?
8 people like this
20 responses
@tess1960 (2386)
• United States
9 Apr 07
Isn't mylot in essence a chatroom? Have we not all come here to earn money or make friends. A few younger ones even have said they were looking for a girl here. If we divulge too much info here are we not vulnerable to the same problms as you mentioned that happened to your friends? I think people need to understand that the internet is 100% public. What we say here is available to anyone and everyone. Even in a preivate message the info is out there floating around on the net waiting to be grabbed. But then, think about the telephone. In the beginnning it was floating around on wires. And then there were the partylines. My grandparents and great granny had a partyline. Anyone could listen in and often did. Today we have cell phones that we were told were secure, and then we're told anyone can steal a cellphone number or tap into a cell phone call and listen. Wireless internet can be tapped into. Just drive around with a laptop and stop at any corner and try it. I took a laptop to my daughters house to show her. we were ablew to go on the internet. She did not have internet, but a neighbor had a wireless and our laptop picked up the signal. I really don't indulge in chatrooms persay. My mylot experience is close enough to chatting with strangers. I have found a lot of really nice people here and am happy with that. Some I would even say have become friends and are no longer strangers. It takes time, getting to know someone and becoming friends. We just need to use our heads, and not be nieve about who we chat with or who we think we are chatting with.
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
9 Apr 07
Yes, you're right. The idea is more or less the same, and although I don't come here specifically to make friends, some people might. And yes... nothing is completely private in here or the internet - Boy do I know that LOL Like you I feel that being in here, in myLot, is pretty much all the chatting with strangers that I'm up to:) ANd yes, I have found, if not friends, at least people that I feel have common interests and ideas. But so many people are too trusting still....too naive.
@Fishmomma (11375)
• United States
9 Apr 07
I think people can get hurt by trusting people in chat rooms. Its important to be careful what information you tell other people. I have heard many terrible stories of people leaving their spouse, which is sad. I visit chat rooms for particular topics several times a year. The most recent was a refunding chat with other long time refunders and we were discussing the changes in offers over the years. Also belong to a postage stamp group that has regular online chats. We discuss new stamps coming out and stamps in our collection.
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
9 Apr 07
To be completely truthful people can get hurt by trusting people anywhere, not only the internet. The internet can be dangerous because you don't really know who is on the other side. And you may never know until it's too late. On the other hand, that is true in real life too. I also chat with people from some of my groups, but I don't use public chat rooms in general. In the internet, and in real life, we need to be careful and use common sense.
@ashjoe76 (1434)
• India
17 Apr 07
I know what you are talking about, and agree with you that there are many hidden dangers involved in chatroom friendships. But I guess we have a choice there too. It depends a lot on our personality, I guess. we find oursleves where we want to be in most of the cases. And if we are clear about our needs, there is a lot that we can gain from chat rooms. that is my experience. I have more than twenty reliable friends from all parts of the worls, some who have become real friends, and I keep in touch with them regularly. You see, it is a strong bond. I guess there needs be some awareness on this, not always focussing on the bad aspects but directing people to the good things that can come through chatroom experiences. thank you for opening this discussion.
2 people like this
@ashjoe76 (1434)
• India
20 Apr 07
Thanks a lot for tha marking
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
21 Apr 07
Yes, I certainly agree with you that we all have a choice and that it is important to state what we need or want clearly. Still even when we mind our own business and make it very clear what we don't want, I found that people are still plagued with private invitations filled with very silly stuff LOL But you are right, there are positive aspects as well, and I don't want to downplay those. IN my caes, I really prefer to stick with the people I know, not because I don't think I"ll be able to find good friedns in a chat room, but because my life is quite busy and it's sometimes even complicated to keep up with my live friends:) P.S. you're welcome:)
1 person likes this
@SKLC_PT (1234)
14 Apr 07
I don't go to public chats so much anymore as there's a good chance of finding obscene people... I always have the bad luck of finding perverts or people that ignore me ); I am trying out second life game now and that's just one virtual reality game public chatroom, but I want to try it out so I'm giving it a chance. I usually stick to my usual msn friends.
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
21 Apr 07
yes, unfortunately it's not the chat rooms themselves of course, it's the people we find. I'm not really sure about that virtual reality game that you describe, because I never heard of it.
1 person likes this
@marlyse (1056)
• Switzerland
10 Apr 07
thats very well explained from you. i used to go to chatrooms, because i wanted to know what my kids where doing, i did it with them, and the othere ones where about business especially. but all of them turned out to be the meetpoint for sextalks, perverts and other weird persons, so ive quit them all and my kids did that too. its not funny anymore and its really dangerous these times. i prefer to participate in an onlne community liky mylot, or our forum, and forums for business. its much safer there. and of course i am carful not to give to much personal information.
2 people like this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
21 Apr 07
Yes, I noticed the sooner or later sextalk always finds its way no matter what the chatroom is about, sad but true. And yes, it's always a good idea to be careful about the information given. I thought my kids that from the beginning and I"m glad I did.
@palonghorn (5483)
• United States
9 Apr 07
Number 1 thing......use your head and use common sense, which there seems to be a lack of these days. I have chatted in chat rooms for years, mainly I started to get information when I went back to school to work on bachelor's degree in Fire Science, there are some good chat rooms dealing in fire/law enforcement. I wasn't looking for the love of my life, but just so happens I did meet him in a chat room. We've been together 2 yrs now, and it's been wonderful, couldn't ask for more. Ok, maybe a million dollars, but that's another discussion! LOL
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
LOL Yeah I could consider a million dollars too hehe And there you are: common sense ! Extremely important and often discarded by youngsters and even by many adults that should know better :)
• United States
9 Apr 07
I would rather met people in person then on an internet site. You never know if you can believe people and what they are saying in chat rooms. People can pretend to be whoever they want on those sites and maybe that is what intrigues people All I know is that chat rooms are not for me
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Same here. Although I am enjoying myself here very much and I value the people I met here, I also prefer to meet people in person. I know it's my choice to believe or not what people tell me online, and I don't even worry much about the fact that people do lie sometimes. I do agree with you that a lot of the appeal might be due to the fact that people can pretend to be who they are not. Unfortunately there are so many people that aren't happy with who they they are and to whom the chance to present themselves the way they would like to be is just too good to pass.
@Cyklo1974 (351)
• United States
9 Apr 07
I used to visit chat rooms all the time but now that i am married i have no desire to. I am not saying there is anything against it but i do not feel the need to do it anymore. Most of the time it was imature people acting a fool it seemed. However i do like places like this where you can choose your topics and post ideas or whatever is on your mind.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I certainly don't have anything against it either. I have seen many things in both sides of the discussion. But, of course, I am curious to see other people's ideas.
• New Zealand
9 Apr 07
I used to use public chatrooms all the time, while I was in my teens. I was a pretty smart kid though, and I never ever found myself in a position where I was uncomfortable or scared. With the whole relationship thing...well to be honest, if its not chatrooms, it'll be somewhere else. People like to blame the internet for things that have been going on long before the internet existed. If we weren't in chat rooms, we'd be hanging out at bars and the same sort of thing would happen.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Great to know that you could take care of yourself and never were in an uncomfortable situation:) As for the relationships i understand what you mean, but in a bar, you can see the person. Sure they can lie, but there are often telltale signs that people can't see online.
@a_ce_e (1427)
• Philippines
9 Apr 07
Me. yeah! i go on public chatroom to have more friends and take it as a past time. Sometimes it is quite annoying to find someone which is far different from your interest, but i just ignore them. But most of the time, i enjoy joining on discussions in the chatroom and join singing with them, wherein someone will take charge as an emcee and someone will list those who want to participate in singing. It brings me some fun. It took away my boredom especially now that i am far from my family. I got an opportunity to share my talent in singing online.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Yes. There are positive experiences as well, and I acknowledge them. That sounds fun. Singing is great:)
• India
9 Apr 07
oh...very descriptive you are...!1 but in short & sweet language i can say..it is the media... to represent your self as....you have done it through mylot...same way...
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I"m not sure if I understand. But in any case, the way I represent myself in mylot, is myself. I don't say that I am single, or that my marriage is on the rocks just so I can attract male companionship. I don't have my real picture as an avatar because I don't agree with posting personal pictures in the internet, but I have my gender and age showing so people know what it is. But I guess what you mean is that it's easy to represent ourselves differently in the internet because it's all so anonymous.
@mimpi1911 (25475)
• India
9 Apr 07
that was a long but useful discussion. perviously i was an addict but as of now i just wouldnot do it, i mean open chat. however, i do chat with family and friends but OPEN chat is a big NO for me. i have developed a serious antipathy towards it, i guess, its because of monotony or may be age. i don't know exactly but i am better of without it. having said this, chatrooms have give me a few wonderful friends, without whom i just cannot do. i feel myLot is but a chat room where we get to communicate and argue, agre, disagree and make friends. only difference is that, this has more aesthetic and qualitative appeal. i have made quite a few good friends here and even though, i can do without myLot but not without them. thank you myLot and all my friends.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I chat with family and friends too :) I know it is possible to make new friends in chat rooms, but there's also a lot of other things happening as well, and I'm not really interested. Plus it's hard enough keeping up with all my friends in real life LOL
@subha12 (18452)
• India
9 Apr 07
i don't go to chat rooms. I only chat with people i know. I am not very open to the idea of chatroom. i don't know why. I'm not comfortable chatting with ppl i don't know.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
For me it's not even that I'm no comfortable, I just don't see the point. I do use chat with family and friends, but I have something to talk about with them. I guess I don't have much time either. I mean I sometimes even have to put myself away on msn because there's too many people calling me and I am working on something.
• Canada
9 Apr 07
I used to frequent chat rooms quite a lot. A few years back I was in them every day. I always used the same ones and I got to know most of the "regulars" very well. We had a special bond with each other and we always stuck up for each other. I met my partner in that chat room too. We've been together three years now and we're still as happy as we were the day we met. I upped and left the UK to be with him in Canada and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it's the best thing I ever did. I don't use chat rooms any more. I don't feel the need to. Many of the original group have all left and moved on to better things, but some of us do still keep in touch. Friendships were forged there that have stood the test of time.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
9 Apr 07
Love your new avatar :):) Yes , once we know most of the "regulars" it is possible to form a nice group that actually can have some interesting conversations. But with time , as you say, people move into other things. Glad your internet adventure brought you here to Canada :):) And congratulations on another happy ending story.
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
9 Apr 07
Well mostly it was for fun and games, to meet new people and so forth. I actually met my husband online and have never looked back since.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
9 Apr 07
That makes it two happy ending online stories:):) Congratulations :) And you're right, most people chat to meet new people, have fun etc.
• United States
9 Apr 07
When I first started using the internet, I used chat rooms (mostly business oriented ones) in order to makes contact for my internet/home based business, and in order to forge connections and learn more about how to maximize my business' potential. I haven't really used them for a few years atleast, as to me, it's a waste of my precious time, where I could be working or earning, or doing something more productive with my time rather than just talking to someone.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
9 Apr 07
yes a lot of people start by using different kinds of chat rooms but after a while just get bored with the whole thing. I enjoy a good conversation but the few chat rooms that I visited soon turned into just flirting and meaningless talk.
@mnflower (1301)
• United States
9 Apr 07
thoughts - enjoy life make friends along the way
I use to go to chat rooms like yahoo chat but they just got so out of line that I do not go there anymore, I use the messenger services now and just contact my friends etc on there and if I do meet someone like through myspace or other places we just exchange messenger id's and continue to chat using those.You can't let yourself get caught up in the drama of other peoples lives when you go to chatroom you will just make yourself miserable.I met my man in a chat room and then we went to start chat on yahoo and then phonecalls then I moved 700 miles to be with him and we still live together and that was 6 years ago.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
9 Apr 07
Congratulations:) We do now that there are happy endings for internet stories too, but it's always nice to actually meet someone that experienced them. So much is happening out there and so many people are so impulsive. Reading your post actually reminded me that I know another happy ending story. A friend from one of my groups also found her husband in a chat room a few years back. They are quite happy and are expecting their first baby:):):) Again, as I said , common sense, thinking things and not jump into action impulsively is the key.
@gabs8513 (48710)
• United Kingdom
9 Apr 07
No I don't I will not entertain them at all They are to dangerous as you do not know who is at the other end I would never give Information about myself at all but I have heard of many People that do
1 person likes this
@jenille (52)
• Philippines
9 Apr 07
yup! i still do!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 07
I don't use them. I'd rather comment and open discussion or write articles, this way I am making a profit as opposed to wasting time away in a chat room