New to the Internet, Chat Room Etiquette

by SHAWN COLLINS - Date: 2008-09-22 - Word Count: 765 Share This!

Much like it's baby brother, Forums, Chat Rooms are a great way to meet new people, forge new relationships, find answers to your questions or just hang out with people from all over the globe. However, much like meeting people in person for the first time, there is are some general rules of etiquette one should follow. Below you will find some more common of those rules. Keep in mind every chat room is different and almost all of them will have their own set rules, so be sure to read those before posting.

Be nice

Do not verbally abuse, attack, demean, put down or otherwise cause trouble in the chat room for the sake of causing trouble. This is called ‘trolling' and can get you banned in many chat rooms. Of course, there are always those people who like to cause trouble, but you can leave the room, ignore them, or even report them if they get out of hand.

Do not use obscene, offensive, racial, or sexually explicit language. You shouldn't need to use this to communicate. In the yesteryear of chat rooms, typing in all CAPS usually meant you were yelling. It has become more acceptable that people are generally just in caps lock or working in another program, thereby causing the CAPS and they are not really yelling. If it bothers you, let them know about it and they will generally be accommodating.

If you do wish to emphasize your meaning, you can use an asterisk to do so. For example, "I *love* ice cream!"

In chat rooms that contain younger chatters, it's not in good taste to do the A/S/L check. That means, Age/Sex/Location. Unless you are in a dating chat room, this is generally considered passé. Just like you're not supposed to ask a woman her age, the same rule applies to a chat room.

Be sure to great everyone in the room when you enter, whether you know them or not. Don't interrupt a conversation though, jump in when you can. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but you'll get your chance. Make sure to greet people when they come in the room, everyone likes to feel welcome, and you‘ll quickly gain a reputation for being one of the ‘good guys.'

The goes for signing out as well. You may make people worry if you just ‘disappear,' especially if you were heavily involved in the conversations.

Don't jump into a conversation unless you know what the topic is about and you actually have something to contribute. Deliberately trying to derail a conversation will not make you any friends.

If you have a question, state it clearly. Simply asking for help, saying you need help, or telling the room you have a question will not turn attention towards you. People are not mind readers and they cannot help you unless you ask for it. Be specific in what you are looking for, and provide all relevant details to your question.

Be careful what you say in a chat room because only text is seen and you cannot see facial expressions or hear tones of voice. So your sarcastic remark, might be misconstrued.

Once you ask your question, be patient and give the room a chance to answer you. Don't spam or flood the room with repeated questions, statements, or links, you'll make a nuisance out of yourself and will garner negative attention.

If you want to PM (private message) someone, ask first. It is an invasion of privacy to assume that you can open an instant message window with someone you do not know.

If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all. Chat rooms should be a positive environment so please take your spats, squabbles and skirmishes to private message. Keep your personal information safe. A busy and fast-paced public chat room is not the best place to share your or anybody else's personal information or problems. For obvious reasons, sharing personal information like real names, phone numbers, addresses, etc., can be dangerous.

Show your fellow chatters respect and be tolerant. If you disagree with them or you don't like what they're saying, it's not your business to let them know. Religious tolerance is also necessary.

Don't advertise. Unless it's allowed, chat rooms are not for advertising your business or products.

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