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On Line Chat Rooms


What Is An Online Chat Room?

A chat room is a Web site, part of a Web site, or part of an online service such as America Online, that provides a venue for communities of users with a common interest to communicate in real time. Forums and discussion groups, in comparison, allow users to post messages but don't have the capacity for interactive messaging. 

How Does An Online Chat Room Work?

Chat room users register for the chat room of their choice, choose a user name and password, and log into a particular room (most sites have multiple chat rooms). Inside the chat room, generally there is a list of the people currently online, who also are alerted that another person has entered the chat room. To chat, users type a message into a text box. The message is almost immediately visible in the larger communal message area and other users respond. Users can enter chat rooms and read messages without sending any.

What To Watch For When Using An On Line Chat Room

  • Misinformation is the number one problem for people with a serious health condition. Verify with your doctor all medical or medically related information.
  • It may seem as if you and another person have the same situation, when in fact you don't. Ask about the person's situation if you think something you see particularly applies to you.
  • What a person writes about his or her emotions, or what is happening, may only be about what is happening in the moment rather than reality.
  • Your identity can be stolen or personal information can be distributed. It is preferable to use a screen name other than your own and that your email address is not broadcast. 

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