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Chatroom Etiquette: What's Hot and What's Not

If you are a newbie to chatrooms, sometimes you can inadvertently ruffle the feathers of others in the chatroom simply for lack of understanding some basic rules of chatroom etiquette. In an effort to help you avoid unpleasantness in a chatroom, a list of common courtesies expected of chatroom participants is found below:

  • Please remember that chatting online is still a form of communication with other human beings. Therefore, it is important to carry on your chat as you would if you were sitting face-to-face with the person with whom you are speaking.
  • Many chatrooms have a list of rules for participants. Read them carefully before entering a chatroom to be sure you know what to do and what to expect of others.
  • While it can be exciting to enter a chatroom, you might want to contain your enthusiasm for just a little while until you have had time to see what the atmosphere of the chatroom is. It is perfectly okay to simply "lurk" for a bit before jumping into the discussion.
  • Inappropriate language and excessive cursing is not generally appreciated, nor tolerated for long. You should be able to get your point across calmly and cleanly, without resorting to vulgarity. If you find that hard to do, take a break from your keyboard or touchscreen, and take a few deep, calming breaths.
  • Avoid using slang or texting shortcuts that may be unfamiliar to other chatroom participants. Using text that cannot be easily deciphered is like using a foreign language when you know your audience does not understand it. Since your reason for participating in a chatroom is to share your views and listen to the views of others, clarity is a good goal to keep in mind.
  • When you enter the chatroom, identify yourself by your screen name. Do not use your personal name or reveal any personal information about yourself. It is not rude to identify yourself by a screen name only, since other participants expect you to do just that.
  • Do not ask others for their personal information.
  • If there are other chatroom participants who are rude or hostile, do not engage with them. Doing so only fans the flames of anger or rudeness, and you may get burned in the process.
  • Just as you would if you were speaking to someone in person, listen respectfully to what other chatroom participants have to say. Do not hog the conversation.
  • Please remember that in computer communication, typing in all caps is the equivalent of yelling. There is very little reason to yell online.
  • Try to rein in any tendency you have to use excessive question marks or exclamation marks. Several exclamations marks after a sentence reveals an agitated state. Calm and collected is almost always better.
  • Occasionally, when a chat is picking up speed, you may have some trouble keeping up with who is saying what. Take the time to be sure you understand what is being said before jumping in with your thoughts.
  • When you are ready to leave the chatroom, say good-bye just as you would in person.

Keep your language clean, and chatting will be pleasant for everyone.

If you follow these simple guidelines, you will enjoy many hours of pleasant communication with like-minded individuals in WireClub's many free online chatrooms. So, find one that suits your interests, and start chatting today!