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Posts Tagged ‘web chatting’

We all love to talk.  As humans, we are naturally attracted to interaction and communication.  And it’s a great thing to be socially active!  However, with the introduction of something called the computer, the definition of “social interaction” has changed.  In other words, chat rooms have entered the picture.  And even more recently, video chat has been gaining popularity.

Most of us usually just enter chat rooms with our friends and just… talk.  It’s kinda like the old-fashioned talking on the phone sort of a thing with several lines, only in chat rooms, sounds aren’t being used to express thoughts or feelings, fingers are.  And it’s totally okay because talking too much on the phone can cause cancer.  So maybe a computer is somewhat of a better alternative to phone chats for hours.

But anyways, sometimes we get tempted to enter chat rooms with… strangers.  The question is, is it safe to socially interact with strangers online?  I mean, before computers existed, people made friends by talking to strangers as well.  Only people saw one another in 3D, not just a 2D photograph that could be fake.  When you’re online and chatting with strangers, you don’t know who is really behind the screen.  This becomes a huge issue and inner battle for a person sometimes because let’s face it, you can have a great connection and so many shared interests with a person you meet online, but you aren’t sure of whether it’s all real or not.

From my personal experience, I have chatted in chat rooms with complete strangers.  About mid spring last year, I joined a site called WorldWideAsianz after my sister introduced me to it.  And wouldn’t you know it, there was a chat room for users.  Out of curiosity, I joined in on the chat fun (it did look fun, really).  Honestly, I got addicted to it because it was so… different than talking to people I knew.  In the chat room, I felt at ease because the people didn’t know me and I could be anybody I wanted to be.  At first, though, I was very cautious of what information I gave out because I did not want to be stalked or anything.  You hear the news about girls getting raped and killed by some guy they met online and it kinda freaks you out, you know.  And on WWA, there were certainly some fellows that got a little too personal.  But on the bright side, I had met some really cool, new people, people that went on to be my Facebook friends.  Plus, even though I am no longer a user of WWA, I still talk to these people via FB.  In a way, I’ve extended my social network, no?

Of course, some people aren’t as lucky and not as cautious to who they speak to and what information they give out.  So what I’m trying to say is that chat rooms are a great way to open your mind and meet new people.  But join one with caution.  I mean, I don’t chat in chat rooms anymore, but for some people, it’s their thing.  Thus, I recommend that chatters don’t get too personal, like don’t share email addresses or phone numbers and such.  Even though I love my new WWA friends, I’m still not comfortable vchatting or talking on the phone (or texting for that matter) with them.  What’s online, stays online.

As for video chatting (vchatting)… I know there are many sites/programs for that, like msn, google, ooVoo, and stickam.  I’ve never tried vchatting with a bunch of strangers.  If you ask me, that’s just setting up danger for yourself.  I’ve only vchatted on google with my sister and that’s the way I want to keep it.

So yea, is chatting online with strangers OK?  I think so.  But only if precautions are taken and the chatters involved don’t get too involved or close.  Chatting online with the unknown can either be good social interaction therapy or your own poison.  Remember, I repeat, what’s online, stays online.

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