Free cyber chat rooms are online web sites that provide a place for a group of participants to talk to each other through a variety of formats which can offer users the benefit of communicating in real time. Although the definition of cyber chat sites has greatly broadened through time with the use of forums, discussion boards, instant messaging and other methods, earlier chat sites operated through the exchange of purely text interactive methods. Now, the concept has evolved into 2D or 3D environments that can make an interactive group of people feel as if they are almost in someone else's living room having a conversation. Chatters can enjoy a give and take conversation with each other while using visual graphics to portray their presence on a virtual canvas. "...for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12:34b)
Interactive chats are sometimes confused with IM and discussion boards because of the ability that these methods provide to large groups of conversationalists. Instant messaging is still one of the most popular forms of live, real time communication on the Internet and appeals to a broad community of users from all age groups. Advanced features have made it possible for users of IM systems to be able to accommodate multiple guests and to create a type of chat situation. In fact, many people actually refer to this method in reference to cyber chat sites. In reality, IM is a text based system that allows people to create 'buddy lists' and accept or block whomever wishes to talk. It is not a method that accommodates a group within one particular virtual environment.
Discussion boards and forums are oftentimes thought of as chatter methods, but neither of these options allow real time, instant communication. Comments are posted on a board or forum and people can read them and then post their own responsive comments. The lag time of this form of web communication creates more of distance between each user and does not offer the camaraderie that free cyber chat rooms can exude. The original concept of text based online interactive communication has largely been replaced by powerful, visually dazzling 2D and 3D cyber chat sites. These methods are not only text based but highly visual as well and afford users a pleasing virtual experience while chatting within a group context. In most 2D rooms, a user can represent himself with a graphic that can move about the 'room' among the other participants. The graphic, or avatar, is an icon that provides the ability to share the virtual space with other icons that represent users.
This concept is very popular in rooms that provide role playing games and other entertainment features for users. One of the oldest games to make use of an avatar is Dungeons and Dragons which has gleaned less than favorable accolades from those who are concerned about the effects of negative role playing games on avid participants. There are many other games that make use of an icon among free cyber chat rooms which are fun, interesting and benign. Avatars are used for many purposes other than gaming such as on instant messaging systems and online forums. An icon offers a way to personalize a user in various ways that make the participant notable to the group. 2D environments can also provide users with the ability to take advantage of many educational opportunities that are produced by site developers. Many who enter chats are interested in information and education among the many interactive choices and can not only have fun, but learn.
Some visual interactive environments also offer video as well as audio capabilities to its participants. This is especially appreciated by those who want to stay in touch with friends or family who may live very far away. Being able to see and hear each other through virtual communication has set the tone for the best in cyber chat sites and many site owners are continually developing these features. There are also 3D sources that provide the ultimate in visual and audio interaction and may even allow participants to build their own space on the Internet. While many of the features found through 3D sources are incredible, many times the huge media requirements for most systems are so overwhelming, that chatting can be hindered.
There are many types of chats available that address almost any subject. Some target different age groups, those with a particular interest or those from a certain background. The possibilities are endless, but if a user cannot find a place on any of the cyber chat rooms that pique his or her interest, a new one can easily be created. Online chatting has become a way of life for many people who appreciate the vast reach of the World Wide Web. The possibilities and scope for free cyber chat rooms are almost limitless as the web has quickly become the new place to hang out.
Free Instant MessagingFree instant messaging has become a real favorite among many people, especially in social settings to talk and share ideas and thoughts from the comfort and safety of their home. This is especially true for dating and chat room sites where the idea is to find those with similar interests and goals. Instant messaging, often called IM, works when two people have the capability to send real time messages to one another. After all, its possibler to send an email that may or may not be opened for hours or days after being sent, but free IM means that you are watching the person's response to you right on the screen as the dialogue occurs. This is not a typical business application. Too often, people are busy with other responsibilities at work and don't have time to just sit and chat online.
However, many businesses are beginning to experiment with using free instant messaging for communication between team members. With many businesses now using the team concept for research, development and marketing, the reality becomes more important for people to communicate with one another within the team environment. As a result, those used to using IM at home are more comfortable using IM at work, often with more regularity than even phone messaging. This is especially true among Gen Y employees. Of course, strict policies on what can be communicated among IM users at work must be developed in order to minimize security breaches. However, when the IM is used only within a business network, security issues may not even be a concern.
In times past, free instant messaging was only available for those on the same IM service provider. In recent years, these providers have made texting much easier for users on different IM services to communicate with one another. Today, most people who use these services have a buddy list, which is comprised of the many people they talk to on a regular basis. A person can check that buddy list to see who is online at the time and begin talking to them if desired. IM is used in dozens of websites where people who have various interests can talk to one another. One of the popular places where IM is used on a regular basis is on websites where singles talk frequently. IM chatting is a popular way of communicating because anonymity can be maintained, providing a source of security.
IM is certainly not a secure way for people to communicate. IM is vulnerable to hackers, at least on some level and is not at all recommended for passing along personal or important information. This form of communicating is strictly for grins, giggles and flirting. When visiting free instant messaging sites, an onlooker is certainly aware of the many emoticons that people use along with their text in order to show some emotion. These emoticons, in the forms of small cartoon characters can certainly send almost instantaneously the feelings behind certain words and phrases.
When a person enters into a chat room where free instant messaging is going on, it can appear to be an alien language being typed on the monitor. IM is a language of shortcuts and acronyms that needs to be learned before jumping in and trying to chat away. For example, I could give you legal advice, but IANAL. I am not a lawyer. And if a group of people didn't want a new chatter coming in and joining the conversation, somee of the participants might say NIMBY. Not in my back yard. And when parents are in the room and a teen cannot talk freely, it's P911.
There are a number of services that will allow a person to download files in order to have free instant messaging capability. Yahoo, AOL, Google, Skype, and dozens more providers will provide downloadable software that will enable a user to begin communicating through text. In many cases, the buddies can be from other servers and providers, but check with the website before assuming you will be able to talk with just anyone. Once logged on, the magic of IM begins, which is so much better than emailing because one can know instantly that a person has received your message by the response to it. Couples separated by many miles can meet each evening and chat away online for no cost and college students can talk to Mom and Dad without fear of running up a large phone bill with free instant messaging.
If there is any criticism of a free instant messaging participation, it is the artificialness of it all. Devoid of real emotion, many people who stay at home and use this tool as a main form of communication may lose the ability to clearly share their emotions and feelings through verbal means. In kind, many lonely persons may cling to this impersonal form of communication as their only means of human contact. What all this means in a world already losing the personal ability to produce neighborhoods of relational meaning is too early to tell. But the reliance upon a keyboard as a substitute for real human interaction casts a foreboding shadow on the ability of society to gain back the warmth that has certainly been lost in recent years. Admitting weaknesses, personal shortcomings, wrong attitudes, failures and other issues aren't the same when typing on a keyboard as when looking someone straight in the eye. "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another..." (James 5:16a)