Prior to the plethora of online dating services, the preferred ways singles would meet online was through chatrooms. That’s right. Before “online dating” there was “chatroom dating” and as online dating grew in popularity, the number of chatrooms for singles started to dwindle.
For decades, chatrooms have been a good place to meet potential friends, and even a potential partner. What’s nice about chatroom dating is you don’t have to dress up and pass visual inspection to go there and enjoy some great conversations. Even some online dating services have incorporated chatrooms into their process.
The anonymity of a chatroom means that if you mess up or don’t want to continue to socialize, you can just leave the chatroom. If you don’t want to be known by who you were then you can simply change your nickname. This is not, of course, a license to be obnoxious, but it does give you plenty of room to practice making friends with other people online.
If you use chatrooms, we have assembled the following tips to help your experience be a safe and enjoyable one.
1) STAYING SAFE
» Protect your identity
If you want total control over the information that is revealed to the world through chatrooms, don’t use your personal or your work-related email. You should sign up for an email account specifically to use for chatting online like Yahoo or Gmail. If the chatroom you like to use has a profile link, be sure to keep the information you provide generic, like just your age and gender.
» Don’t reveal private information
Be careful about the information you volunteer in casual conversation. Don’t provide any hint of your work place, your home town or other personal info that can be linked to where you reside. It is vital that you use common sense when using a chatroom. If someone spent two weeks in a chatroom and wrote down everything you said, how easy would it be for them to identify you? Be careful never to reveal too many details about yourself.
A guy on YouTube did an experiment once where he friended a bunch of people on Facebook. He then gathered and memorized a bunch of information on them. Using Facebook, he tracked down where they were and approached them like he knew them with many details of their life. And yet they were complete strangers!
» Listen to your head
Use your common sense and judgment. If someone sounds creepy or a bit dodgey, it’s likely because they are. If someone’s flirting is getting a bit out of hand for your liking, then speak up or change your email address and nickname.
2) GETTING TO KNOW PEOPLE
» Be honest
If you want people to be open and honest with you, you must also do the same. You don’t have to go into personal details but don’t pretend to be someone your not, otherwise you will only attract the people that are looking for the type of person you are pretending to be. It’s much easier to always be open than to try and cover up (or even remember) all of your lies.
» Don’t expect to much
Remember that you are using a chatroom, so you have no idea what this people really look like or what their personality is like. Be careful about building mental images of people because if you ever proceed to a meeting (or picture exchange) stage, you will likely feel disappointed because the person doesn’t live up to the mental image you created. Keep an open mind and you won’t be disappointed.
» Don’t fake photos
If you decide to swap pictures, send a current picture which is flattering, but doesn’t hide or distort your true appearance. Misleading pictures are probably the leading cause of disappointments in relationships that start on the Internet. Whatever you do, make sure that you give a photo of you and not someone else or you`ll never be able to meet the person because they’ll think you are someone else.
» Develop common activities
If you’ve hit it off with a potential date, then start by making dates with each other to share online activities, like playing online games or sharing a forum. Talk about how long you expect to communicate online before meeting. Make sure you feel comfortable with a person before even considering a meeting.
If you get to the point in your online friendship/relationship where you decide you want to meet each other, then arrange to meet in public where you will be comfortable and safe. Meet in a busy place, over coffee or a casual meal. Be prepared in case you don’t like the person and have a back up plan to “escape.” Ask a friend to phone you an hour after your meeting begins and you can tell the friend you will phone later if you two are getting on well. If you aren’t getting on well you can make an excuse and leave. Remember to always let someone know where you are at all times. Always be safe and cautious.
Online dating services are the preferred method of meeting people. However, chatrooms have always been a popular venue for getting to know others and eventually meeting people you’ve developed friendships with while chatting. If this is your case, then be sure to always use common sense and safety. It’s easy to let your guard down after several successful meetings. Don’t. Stay alert, safe, and enjoy your opportunity to make new friendships or potential relationships.