April 3, 2014

C Is For Chat Rooms

As I've alluded to my in my previous posts, I was a devotee of the chat rooms. Back in 2007, while I was suffering through a nasty case of writing myself into a corner, I decided to surf the 'net and one morning I found myself on my local newspaper website. I decide to comment on a story and surprisingly found myself taken to a website called Topix. In no short order, I created a profile for myself and within a couple of weeks, made some nice cyberspace friends.

Ultimately, while being in the chat rooms did help me with my writing (like how to get a point across in less than 750 words), the negatives far outweighed the positives. If you check out the tag called Chat Rooms, you'll read the equivalent of a novelita about my experiences in the chat rooms. From 2007 through early 2011, I created multiple personas for myself. Not for trolling purposes, but more based on a given mood that I was in.

I won't bore you with the gruesome minutia of who I was in the chat rooms, but suffice to say, the chat rooms run by Topix are at least 25 times worse than whatever you may have experienced on Facebook. Selective enforcement of their Terms of Service based on favoritism; harassment of fellow posters; threatening fellow posters; and the stalking of fellow posters are but just a few of the things that I have personally experienced during my time there. While I have made some long lasting friendships that I have successfully transferred to Facebook, there really is no way on God's green earth I will ever go back.

So much damaged was done to me and to a lesser extent my reputation that within a few months of calling it quits over there, I deactivated all of my personas there. For all intents and purposes, I am but a distant memory there. One of the side effects of being in the chat rooms is that I developed a healthy dose of paranoia about what people say and/or imply about me. There are certain lines that cannot be crossed, and sadly, I lost a Facebook friend because what they thought was a funny joke was in my opinion a very cruel joke. So not only did I unfriend them, I also unliked their page and stopped following/reading their blog.

A word of warning: if you do intend to check out the chat rooms, check them out in a safe environment. What I mean about safe is go to a forum where the admins are not only very competent (i.e. CNN, Fox, FoxSports and ESPN), but properly enforce their T.o.S. and make you feel welcome.

(c) 2014 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Not now and never have been a chat room person. Don't even like to chat on Facebook. I keep it turned off all the time.

  2. I've only heard bad stories about chat rooms, so I've never ventured into one.
    I'm not even on Facebook...

  3. G.A.: I rarely chat on FB. When I do have to send a message, I make sure it's of the hit and run variety. Makes things a lot easier.

    Alex: Most of the bad stories that you've heard probably do have a large grain of truth to them. I avoid them like the plague.

    This is actually my 2nd stint on Facebook and it's been pretty decent to me this time around.

    Sarah: Without a doubt.

  4. I'm not a fan of chat rooms, but, I have experienced some similar unpleasant exchanges, (to a lesser degree), in forums that I have belonged to. it's too bad that some people who feel inadequate in real life, become cyber bullies and harass others.

  5. Debbie: It is somewhat unbelievable the amount of bullying/harassing that goes on in chat rooms, but from personal experience, it can be very troubling. Especially if it drifts over into the real world.

  6. I went on a few times back in 2000 just because I was curious...and it was like eating too much junk food. Couldn't resist and then you feel nasty.


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