Create a unique user name or nickname that says something about who you are. Choose wisely because this is the name that everyone will call you. If you end up choosing a name that is too graphic or disturbing, don't be surprised if your fellow chatters ignore you or even block you.
Create an interesting profile. Most chat sites encourage you to create a profile so other chatters can learn a little about you. Don't skip this step. Some people refuse to chat to a person that doesn't have a profile. You may even be kicked out of a room that requires that you have one. Post a current picture of yourself on your profile - fully clothed, please! If you don't want your face out there on the internet, then post a picture of a pet, your car, or your favorite flower. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it is something you like. You will find that the picture on your profile can be a real conversation starter. Fill out as much information as you can and always be truthful about what you say.
Find a chat room or area that is suited for your specific wants and needs. You will find a chat room for almost any topic or activity you can think of. If you are just looking for friends who have something in common with you, then head for that section of the chat site. If you want a little romance, then check out rooms specifically created for that purpose. If you want to listen to music being played by other chatters, or share some of your own tunes, then go to a music room. The possibilities are endless.
- Asking, right off the bat, for age, sex and location (ASL) from those chatting in the room. Click on someone's profile to find out those answers or let it all be revealed during the course of the chat session.
- Posting the question, "Anybody want to chat?" This question will immediately turn everyone off. Obviously they want to chat. Otherwise they wouldn't be there.
- Sending instant messages (IM's), also known as private messages (PM's) to fellow chatters before you've even addressed them in the public arena. Many people don't want to receive unsolicited PM's from complete strangers. In fact, you can be banned from some chat rooms for doing so. Get to know a person a little before you attempt to jump into a one-on-one conversation with them.
Don't attempt to discuss politics or religion in a chat room that does not cater specifically to those subjects. If you want to voice your opinions about these subjects, take the time to search the chat site to find rooms where you will fit in.
Don't expect many deep, probing discussions to be held in a public chat room. People are there to kick back, relax and have a little fun for a few hours. Most are not there to solve the problems of the world. Keep your conversation light. Eventually you will make friends that will invite you into private conversations that go a little deeper.
Keep in mind that everyone you meet will not actually turn out to be what they purport. It's a sad fact that some people feel the need to fib about themselves or the lives they lead. It pays to be cautious and to take everything you read or see with a grain of salt.
Be patient and friendly and you will have more people clamoring for your attention than you can handle.
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