Chat Room Etiquette – Dos and Don’ts
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Chat rooms are online platforms where different persons chat often anonymously. Chat rooms are generally designed to enable users spread across a wide geographical area to meet online and discuss varied number of topics. There are a number of specialized chat rooms that have been developed with a specific group of people in mind. In this case, the membership is restricted to a group of people with a shared concern in the specific subject. Besides these specialized platforms, majority of the chat rooms don't restrict users from discussing every other trending topic.
Chat Room Etiquette – Dos and Don’ts
Due to the geographical distance between the different users, the conversations can on occasion be sub-optimal. This is caused by the fact that different users bare little or no responsibility for their choice of words. Different chat rooms have therefore resulted in the use of terms and condition for using their platform. There are however a number of acceptable chatroom etiquette that all users must adhere to in order to have a somber online presence.
- Over involvement
Like everything else in life, ‘too much of a chatroom presence is poisonous’. This applies to the use of features in the chatroom while interacting with other users. This, therefore, calls for the rational use of the platform while ensuring you communicate effectively.
Cursing and use of strong/inappropriate language. You should avoid using strong or inappropriate language. This often leads to the digression of the entire conversation where different users compete in the use of foul language. In this case, you are advised to ignore the same, utilize the block function, and notify the admin to take further action on the same. Note such language not only constrains the conversations but disenfranchises some users how might find it offending hence failing to contribute effectively to chatroom discussions.
- Use of slang and text shortcuts
One of the best options for using chat rooms is the use of slang and text shortcuts. It eases the conversation in the platform enabling the users to communicate more freely. The use of text shortcuts however should be minimized to ensure all users fully comprehend what is being discussed. It further ensures the users can contribute to the subject comfortably. This chatroom etiquette applies to the use of slang language as well where users are advised to minimize the use of the same as well.
- Don’t get too personal
Chat rooms are muddied with a wide variety of topics. What makes it fun is the ability to freely text your opinion. Often users will get into cross-hairs simple issues due to being personal. In these scenarios, users are advised to avoid getting way too personal with your opinion or the opinion of the others. Users must understand, chat rooms are meant to share ideas and information hence all opinions should be welcomed and moderated.
Effective communication. Effective communication generally means that the users speak and listen in equal proportions. This methodology is best placed in chat rooms enabling all users to contribute effectively. As a user, therefore, avoid over-emoting your views on a subject or introducing a subject that is irrelevant to the rest of the group. Further, as a user, you must avoid hogging the conversation by over contributing a topic of discussion.
- Offline sessions
Depending on the size of the chatroom, chats can be quite pacey where a wide array of topics are picked up and dropped within a short period. In order to be articulate and exercise etiquette, users must ensure they understand the topic being discussed. As a user, you are not inclined to respond to every other query being discussed in the chat room. As a result, you should only contribute to the current topic hence ensuring there is a clear flow of information in the chatroom.
- General Etiquette
Besides the above variables that must not be overdone, several practices improve on the chatroom etiquette. These practices ensure that the chatroom remains vibrant as far as discussion of topics is concerned, as well as an entertaining platform for persons from different geographical settings. This includes the following factors;
- Rules of engagement
All chat rooms are equipped with rules and regulations. Before installing or signing up for an application, users are required to agree to a number of rules and conditions. While this is often ambiguous, some specialized chat rooms require users to adhere to a strict set of rules. As a user, you must familiarize yourself with the same to ensure you don’t offend other users or the proprietors of the platform.
- Read the chatroom atmosphere
Different chat rooms address different topics. Some of the specialized chat rooms, such as depression and anxiety chat rooms are used to discuss different challenges that different users face. As a result, you should check the atmosphere of the chat room to ensure your enthusiasm is not perceived as rudeness or carelessness.
- Introduce yourself
If you are new to a chatroom, make sure you introduce yourself by your screen name. This enables the rest of the users to articulate themselves accurately while addressing you as well as provide guidance on several topics. It is further regarded as a good etiquette to announce yourself while meeting a new group of people.
- Avoid confrontation
Due to the virtual means of communication as well as the use of screen names and anonymity, users often feel untouchable. This easily leads to unnecessary confrontations characterized by foul language. You are therefore advised to avoid confrontations especially in the case of rude users. You should further block or ignore instances where users flaunt the terms and conditions of the chatroom and report the same to the admin.
- Use of characters and features
While opting for the different characters and symbols in the text box, avoid over-utilizing capital letters. This is regarded as shouting or yelling in chat rooms. You should also avoid excessive use of question marks and exclamation marks since they are used to indicate levels of agitation.
- Contribute effectively
As a user, you are required to contribute effectively to all points being discussed. This should be done reasonably while incorporating effective communication skills. This means that you don’t lurk in the chat room or hog the entire conversations. Further, make sure are culturally sensitive to avoid offending other users.
All in all, online users should try as hard as possible to simulate a one on one conversation. This improves on the humor and ease of understanding of each other.