Online chat room etiquette
Manners and protocol of chat room etiquette.
The Internet has opened up a whole new world for us to meet online and converse real time about our hobbies, thoughts, and beliefs. However, as in face to face communication, there are some common courtesies and protocols that must be observed while addressing others online.
A first rule of thumb is to use proper judgment when selecting a nickname that you will use in the chatroom. Avoid using any rude or inappropriate names, as this will only cause others in the room to ignore you. Instead, use a name that best describes yourself to others. This can as simple as using your first name, initials, or even a hobby or interest. For example, a chat room about parenting may contain such nicknames as supermom, mom2boys, or suzieb.
Now that you have selected your name and are ready to chat, there are some proper greetings you should know in order to initiate a conversation. The best way to accomplish this is to use a simple, pleasant greeting, such as ?Hi Everyone?, or ?Good Morning?. If this fails to catch anyone's attention, you could attempt to address a particular member with a question. An example of this would be ?mikeg, can you recommend any good mystery novels?. The person you are addressing will usually respond, thus launching your chat interaction. While you are chatting, always make sure you do not type in capital or boldface letters, as this is considered yelling in the online world. While it may attract attention, it is hard on the eyes to read, and you will either be scolded or not addressed at all.
Many people in chat rooms tend to let their guard down and may insult or verbally abuse you. In fact, there are many instances where someone will enter the chat room just to annoy others in this way. While your instinct is to fire back in the same manner, try to restrain from doing so. You should either ignore the person, or use your chat software to block their messages. If the verbal sparring is a result of a disagreement with another member, try to remedy the situation by politely talking it over together. Remember to respect the beliefs and opinions of others in the room. At the same time, if you find you are in the wrong, be sure to promptly correct yourself and apologize to those that you have offended.
Another inappropriate chat room behavior is asking others personal questions such as their age, sex, and marital status. While it is tempting to want to know more about the person you are conversing with, use the same judgment as you would in a face to face conversation. Unless you know the person very well, and you are both comfortable with sharing personal information, refrain from asking such questions.
There are some other tips to follow when chatting online. First, welcome and respect any newcomers that are entering for the first time. Offer advice when asked, as they may not be sure what to do or how to converse. Also, if you are a chat room moderator, or regular, try not to overload the room with constant advice or opinions and give others their chance to speak. If your messages are long, try to type and send it in sections to avoid constant scrolling on other members' screens. If possible, send the lengthy message privately or to a couple of members at a time.
Finally, remember to treat others online in the same way you would want to be treated. By observing these basic rules of etiquette, everyone can have a better online chat experience.