What is chatting?
If you are new to the Internet, you may have heard a lot about online chatting but not
really know what it is about. Online chatting is no more than the exchange of
messages over the computer. This socialization over the Internet has become a favorite
pastime for many, but can also be used to discuss more important matters as well.
How is chatting different from e-mail?
When sending an e-mail, you type your message, address its recipient(s) and send
it. It then stays on the mail server of the recipient until it is downloaded and
viewed. The time it takes to get from the sender to the recipient is usually very
short, but the time until the message is read is dependent on that user and when they next
check their e-mail. However, chat happens in "real time". This means
that both users are connected to a "chat room" or "chat server" at the
same time and once a message is sent it is instantaneously received by the other members
of the chat session.
How do I chat?
To do anything on the Internet, from browsing the Web to checking e-mail, you will need
a software program on your computer. This is also true for online chatting. On
the top left of this page are links to various chat programs for you to try. An
example that may help you understand this better is that Netscape and Internet Explorer
are software programs you need to visit Web sites; ICQ, mIRC, and AOL Instant Messenger
are software programs that allow you to participate in online chatting.
What are all these chat terms and abbreviations people expect
me to know?
Since online chatting involves typing, which can take a considerable amount of time
compared to actual talking, people have made up abbreviations for certain phrases over
time that have become a loose standard for chatting. Some examples are: BRB which
means "be right back", or TTYL which is translated to "talk to you
later". For a comprehensive list of many abbreviations visit http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,sid9_gci211776,00.html
Note: whatis.com is in no way controlled by, under the jurisdiction of,
or in any other way affiliated with Internet Texoma, Inc. While the information
linked to above is believed to be appropriate for everyone, Internet Texoma, Inc. is not
responsible for anything you may find offensive or anything that is incorrect.