12. Online communications: chat rooms

This is an internet based method of 'real-time' communication. You join an online chat room to talk with other people that have the same interests as you.

The way it works is you open an account with the chat room provider and log in to one of the 'rooms'. There you meet other people and chat to them by typing a message. chat rooms

Each message is seen by everyone else in the room. You can also send private messages to one another, 'pm' as it is called.

For example you may be interested in a certain pop group, so you find a chat room that wants to talk about them.

You must be very careful when using a chat room as you do not really know if the person you are chatting to is who they say they are. Avoid providing any personal or location details. Let parents know which chat rooms you are using and report anything that concerns you. Given that caution, chat rooms can be a fun place to be for informal conversations and opinions