What is the best way to talk to random people online?

Most of us chat with random folk all the time without even realising it. We pick up the phone, respond to an e-mail, comment on social media posts or on forums. Hell. we even chat with the cashier at the supermarket, if she is in the mood that is. The most common way in which we chat to anyone these days is online chat places.

Chat have been around as long as the internet itself. If fact, in the early days, it was a big part of the internet. There was no social media in those days and even e-mail was slow. Some users only logged on once a day, some even less.

Who uses online chat rooms?

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Instant messaging became extremely popular for groups or communities to get together online and simply chat amongst themselves. In the 90s, these rooms pretty much ruled the internet. Many of the big names dominated like Yahoo, AOL and later Google. Each has their own platforms with a variety of different places from general to highly specific niche interest groups. They were far from alone and a multitude of smaller guys also had their rooms, many very active and well used.











The main protocol used at the time was IRC or internet relay chat, but there were others as well. They simply provided an environment where anyone could join up, normally with little to no registration process and immediately immerse themselves into a group and start a conversation. They could also pair off and have a private talk with an individual of they felt so inclined. Remember at the time, few users had internet access compared to today so you mostly had computer geeks, students and the odd chronic insomniac. There was the odd retired person or bored housewife as well. Either way, it would make for an interesting melting pot of different nationalitieses with different cultures, beliefs and norms.

irc in windows

Are you safe in these virtual rooms?

The anonymity provided by these rooms gave its users the opportunity to have a conversation in complete freedom, without fear of their identities being exposed. If they caused an upset in a room, got picked on by other members or simply did not enjoy the group dynamic, they could simply log and seek out another group. They could even assume a new identity or alter ego if they felt that way inclined. It was a no strings relationship with no commitments or long-term expectations.

Many rooms were theme based so you could interact with like-minded users of similar interests. Others catered towards specific niche groups where anyone could express opinions and beliefs that would generally not be accepted in public gatherings. This gave them great freedom to explore these beliefs, some just unusual others very extreme. Other still allowed woman to talk about the difficulties of raising teenagers or dealing with wayward husbands. Whatever the theme, they found solace in the fact that they were not alone and enjoyed the sympathetic ear, or eye in this case, that they often got. A bit like going to a shrink with the exception of the outrageous costs and no one telling you that your hour was up. Oh, and the kind people so willing to offer advice generally had no training or experience in counselling people and more often than not, were just trying to deal with their own demons. Still, it provided entertainment to many and perhaps relief to some.

So where did all these rooms go? Well, there are still literally thousands around. Sure some of the big names have evolved and moved away from what we knew rooms to be but there are still a vast number still in existence. Mostly, they have become a lot more focused on a very specific niche or interest. Any specific interest you have, do a search and you will find a place where you can talk to random people that share your particular interest.

One of the reasons they appear less prevalent is that the internet is millions of times larger than it was in the 90s. The needles are still there but the haystack is so much bigger.

Small Business - Chron

"Over the years, technology has significantly changed the way people communicate. Originally, the telephone replaced the telegraph. Now cellphones, email and the Internet top the list of preferred communication methods. "

The other critical factor is that there are simply so many other ways we communicate these days, most of them instant. We live in a world expecting instant gratification 24/7. We expect it from companies we deal with, we expect it from our staff or our bosses expect it from us. Many have come and gone and new ones come out all the time but most people are connected to numerous instant messaging platforms simultaneously. Most of these platforms also include interest groups, geographical groups and so on. So between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype iMessage, Whatsapp, to name just a very few of them, we are literally spoilt for choice.

Is the time of Emails ending?

Another important factor is e-mail is now pushed to our mobile device, or devices in most cases, so even that can qualify as instant messaging.
Added to that, there is just a whole lot more to see and do on the internet nowadays as compared to the 90’s. We no longer always need to converse to random people when with a few mouse clicks we can get literally millions of opinions, facts, photographs, infograms and videos on pretty much anything that comes to mind. There are so many alternative forms of information and entertainment that chatting with others has become less relevant or less necessary.

Although there are millions of fake profiles on the various social media platforms, the common thing most of them lack is the anonymity of these kind of rooms. So fear not,these have not gone away by any stretch of the imagination, if anything there are more than ever. They have evolved, of course, and are somewhat different to the early forms but there are still many of them to be found and they are still being used.

If you feel the need to talk with random people, pop on over to a room and get chatting.