Types of chat rooms

Real-time chat room services use text-based instant messaging to bring multiple users from around the world to a common software platform and interact with each other. However, what these services offer has come a long way since the era of simple text-based chat. Now, users can create and customize their own avatars, chat with other network users in a virtual 3-D world like in a video game, use webcams for face-to-face video chat, and talk by making voice calls in conference mode. Better graphics and innovative enhancements have created a kind of massive addiction, especially among teenagers. The popularity of chat rooms is perhaps the result of the ability of such services to attract a wide range of people of different interests and age groups.

There are many different types of chat rooms. Like real places, even these virtual cyberspaces have unique atmospheres in which people of similar interests gather. Chat rooms with discussion modules of almost all types can be found on the Internet. The sites offer public rooms for different age groups for people to find other people with similar levels of maturity and experience. Apart from this, there are chat rooms for common interests like music, religion, politics, creative writing, etc. Chat rooms can also be classified according to the functions they provide to their users. Some people like to join video rooms where they can use webcams for live video streaming. Other users still stick to text-based ones. They argue that streaming video leaves little to the imagination and that the point of conversation lies in the illusion it creates by speaking to anonymous strangers. The more shy and introverted people also prefer text. A more animated version of the text-based room is the one that allows its users to create avatars. These cybernetic places are three-dimensional versions of conventional 2-D that create even more the illusion of being in a real world. Users who like to have more control over participants and topics can also create private chat rooms.

Hands down, the most popular chat rooms are romance chat rooms. People come here looking for members of the opposite sex. For the most part, they are looking for a casual flirtation or erotic chat with no strings attached. Some, however, are looking for something a little more than an evening of friendship. Online dating services have been quite successful in the past. It will be surprising to know that many people meet online and end up getting married! However, these services have received severe criticism for the negative influence they can have on young people, so the easy access ensures that there is little control over who enters the room. It is impossible to prevent the entry of underage Internet surfers who contribute to a significant fraction of web users. It is feared that these children will enter in the company of perverts and counterfeiters on those sites, which they could enter out of curiosity.

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