Etiquette is important in any discourse whether on a one-on-one personal basis in offline engagements or in online communication. It gives people guidelines of how to properly conduct themselves during discourse.
On the Internet there are many chat room communities that provide a venue where individuals from all walks of life can engage in a discussion regarding topics that are amendable to everyone.
Many chat rooms have set rules and guidelines that users are expected to follow. These rules and guidelines are imposed to ensure that no member is offended during the discussion. Likewise, maintaining proper netiquette when chatting ensures an enjoyable chatting experience for yourself, and also, the others.
- Refrain from giving out vital personal information about yourself such as your home address, telephone number, work address/telephone or the location of your office. For teenagers or students, do not give out personal information about your parents or your own information, such as the name and location of your school or your daily schedule. Giving this kind of information out to strangers exposes you and your family to danger.
- Never ever get together with someone you just met online. Bring a friend or a family member with you. Do not arrange to meet strangers alone. It is better to be safe than to be sorry afterwards if things got wrong. If you do meet, be sure to do so in a very public place as a measure of safety and security.
- Do not send your picture or anything else without first checking the background of the person to whom you are sending the photos. Use instinct and good judgement. If you feel uncomfortable and uncertain whether you should send the photo or not, the best decision is not to send. Try asking for his or her photo instead and try to learn more about the background of the person.
- Avoid responding to mean messages or any message that makes you feel uncomfortable. Responding only encourages more nasty messages to be sent to you. Do not waste your time and effort on meaningless messages unless you are the type of person who loves being harassed by other people. Report or contact the chat room administrator for help in disciplining rude posters.
- Never brag. While it is true no one will know whether what you are saying is true or not, who cares? The problem with bragging during chats is that in a way you are sending out a signal to those who could defraud you. Your best bet is to limit any information about yourself that you may want to brag about online.
- If you want to be respected while chatting online, be sure to use respectable user names or nicknames for posting. Especially for women, avoid sexually suggestive names that will arouse the wrong kind of attention, and less than decent conversations. When deciding on a name to use think about your best qualities and the kind of persons you want to attract.
- Maintain an appropriate decorum in chat rooms; If you want sex-oriented conversation go to an adult site that encourages that kind of behaviour. However, if you are looking for a serious relationship, adult sites may not be for you as most of the chatters there are simply looking for fun and sex.
There are a whole lot more to share about what not to do in online chat rooms. I’ll surely be sharing more about safety tips for online chatting in other related articles. In the meantime, play safe, have fun!
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