Monday, June 19, 2006

Online Chat, Is It A Good Thing?

Online chat is one of those area's of the internet that generates huge amount of comment in the national press. Mostly of a negative nature. Pedofiles apparently troll the internet looking for young girls, and in some cases young boys. If you read the press, online chat is something created by Satan himself.

I have been an online chatter for many years. In fact it was through online chat that I met my wife. It was through online chat that I have met many really fine people, and have formed friendships that will last for many years.

Yes there are some less than desirable individuals that I have met over the years, but hell I can meet people just like them by going to my local bar!

In 1997 I had the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks driving from San Diego to Detroit, it took two weeks because I stopped and visited with some of the people that I had met online. It was a blast!

Of course not all chat is born equal. There is a distinct snobbery involved. Real chatters (those that have a few years under their belt) like to use the 'real' internet chat system Internet Relay Chat (IRC). To this using Windows, you will need a chat client, by far the best is Mirc. The big advantage with IRC is the number of networks and their diversity. You name the subject, there is a channel for you.

My wife runs an Undernet channel #Cajun_delight. It is supposed to be about all things Cajun, but it is actually your basic BullSh!t channel. A great place to while away a couple of hours.

I run a channel #Attic, that's only claim to fame is that the Bartender (Bot) will play UNO with you.

Our friends run a channel #hunting, yes a couple of the folks hunt, but mostly its another BullSh!t session.

definitely the IRC is a great place to visit. Google up Mirc, and get started!

Online chat is big business and that is why all the big players want a piece of this action, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and Google all have products. To us chat 'professionals' and my wife is the 'chat queen' these are ok products but they are just not quite as much fun as IRC.

1 comment:

Lori said...

I tend to agree with you--I don't really chat, but I have met perfectly nice people through the internet. I think it can actually be safer than, say, going to a bar as long as one is careful with one's personal information. That's where kids have a problem, I think. They haven't learned to be cautious or don't think that anything bad could happen to them. This makes it really important to teach kids how to be safe on the internet and for parents to monitor what their kids are doing.