What are The Best Free online chat rooms on the Internet?

Online talking rooms were one of the very first popular applications of the internet in the early days. Data speeds were a lot slower then and there was a tiny fraction of the content that is available today. Online chat rooms allowed folks from all over the world, irrespective of social standing, ethnic background or geographical location to connect and speak in real time. It soon became extremely popular.

IRC or internet relay chat was one of the first protocols available and many users used this as their platform. Over the years it has become a lot less popular than it was initially as more and more alternatives became available. A quick search for free online chat rooms will deliver millions of results, showing that it is still incredibly popular.

There are general avenues that anyone can join or there are more specific rooms designed for, amongst many others, a particular age group, a specific area, religious group or ethnic groups. There are also a multitude of special interest groups catering to more niche online chatters. Name a hobby, interest, sport, anything, there will be a room for you. And then, of course, there are the hook-up or dating type conversation rooms of which there are plenty to choose from, again some general and some highly specific.

Can You Chat from your phone?

man using phone to chat with people

Most rooms are mobile friendly these days so you can take your chats with you wherever you go. The majority require little to no registration so you can log on and pretty much start chatting immediately. They mostly work in the same sort of way whereby there is one main, general chat going on in which everyone can participate and then a number of other chat rooms that have normally broken away from the main discussion to explore a particular topic or issue in greater depth. If you want to talk to one specific person privately, you simply have a private conversation with that person, away from the rest of the group.

What rooms should You join To?

The trick is to find a free online chatroom that works for you. They are not all the same. Some are extremely stuffy and rigid with their rules and etiquette whereas others are way more laid back. Some have been going for many years and don't take too kindly to newbies whereas others welcome new opinions and input. You will need to try a few, dip your toe in the water and look for one that you will enjoy. It helps if you think a bit about what you want out of the experience first. Are you wanting to meet someone romantically, do you want to express your political opinions or do you just want to have a bit of fun and talk to a few random strangers? Thinking about your motivation will give you and idea of what sort of place to look for. Also, consider the type of technology you want to use. The majority are still text based while many now use voice and video. If you want to try the latter, ensure you have the equipment and the setting to be able to do that.

What rules apply to you while chatting?

Remember each place you join has their own "rules" and some take them very seriously. Until you get to understand the general feel of the chat room, practice good etiquette or Netiquette as it is often called. A few basic guidelines to stick are not using Caps, it is shouting online and will quickly upset people. Do not flood or send too much information at one time. Keep your contribution under 4 lines. Do not swear. Once you get to know the group, many will not have an issue with this but most will kick you out very quickly. Don't try to self-promote or advertise your business or something you are selling, that really gets people backs up.

If you just use common sense and think how you would talk if you were face to face with a group of strangers, that should help. This does not apply to all people as some people can be equally annoying in person.

What to look out for when joining a chat room?

Security is a major issue. The idea of a chat is to be anonymous therefore you have no idea who you are speaking to. Be very wary of accepting files from other people as they could well be malicious and do not share any personal information about yourself. Even minor comments can give a lot away about your age and area so be careful. Make sure you have a firewall and a decent antivirus.

NBC New York

"Parry Aftab, a leading expert on cyber safety and creator of the site WiredSafety.org, often speaks to schoolchildren about online safety. She says it is up to parents to keep up with their kids and to teach them to be web savvy."

Online talking is littered with acronyms and abbreviations so familiarise yourself with the more popular ones first. If not, you will be lost. It can look like people are speaking a completely different language if you do not understand the lingo. It can also cause misunderstandings if you misinterpret the meaning. Fortunately, Google can help so if you are unsure, simply cut and paste it to get the correct meaning.

The main idea, unless you have another specific agenda, is to have fun. Many people are not fortunate enough to be able to travel the world. It is fascinating to be able to talk to people from all different walks of life and with different backgrounds. The real world seldom gives us that opportunity. With our virtual discussion centers, you can log on and within seconds be engrossed in a conversation with people from all over the world. Listen to them, share your opinions, learn and enjoy. There is a whole world of opportunities out there and many people have had experiences in life that you have never encountered. They have learned lessons along the way and have wisdom to share. Be wary, though. Some people can be rude, bombastic and arrogant and offer little to no value to the conversation, again, much like in the real world. Find a room of people of value that you can get on with and enjoy the conversation.