The Benefits And Cautions Of Anonymous Chat
Updated September 04, 2018
The anonymous chat room has been a staple of the Internet since the beginning. Before social media websites, there was the chat room. You never knew who you were going to talk to. The person behind the screen may be who they say they are, or someone else entirely. Talking to someone who has no picture, no voice, no identity other than the words you see on the screen, can be exciting, but also dangerous. Naturally, anonymous chatting is controversial because you may be talking to someone who is out to use you or do something else nefarious.
However, there are many benefits to anonymous chat, and let's start by talking about the good things.
You Can Say Whatever You Want
When you're anonymous, you can say what's on your mind without it coming back to bite you. Unless you reveal personal details, they probably won't be able to trace who said it. This can be used for reasons that aren't so good. Many take to anonymous chatting to express hateful views or to attack other people.
However, there are good reasons to use anonymous chat as well. If you want to vent about your work or other personal parts of your life, an anonymous chatroom may be a good place to express those views safely. Provided that you don't reveal anything that could expose your identity. If you have another unpopular opinion, an anonymous chat room can be a good place to express yourself without the fear of someone attacking you for it.
With that said, you should not use anonymity to hurt others. Internet anonymity gets a bad rap because of this, and you shouldn't be part of that statistic.
It Makes For Great Therapy
Because you're more inclined to be yourself and express your feelings, the people you're talking to can provide advice, or just be the person who listens to you as you express what's going on. While it's no substitute for professional advice, it can be a good way to get some solutions right away.
With Smartphones, It's Easier Than Ever
You can use anonymous chat apps on your phone and chat with anyone, anywhere. During your commute, on break, standing in line, or any other place where you have a signal. This allows you to communicate at anytime, and it's good if you're feeling emotional right that second.
You Can Expand Your Worldview
You never know who you're going to chat with on an anonymous message board. The person may be someone who is just like you or is entirely different. They may have a different worldview, different age, and live in a culture far from yours. This can make you open your mind and put yourself in the perspective of someone different. Expanding your worldview can benefit you in many ways. It teaches you to be more empathetic to others;it can teach you how other people work. The internet has allowed people in a bubble to see what's beyond the dome, and this has opened the minds of many.
There Are Many Types Of Chatrooms For Different Situations
You can visit a chatroom that is truly neutral. The people in the chatroom are a salad bowl of cultures, beliefs, ages, and other factors. However, if you want to meet people who have a shared interest, are in the same area, or are the same age, there are chatrooms designed for that as well. You can find various chatrooms for any type of belief, and you can make all sorts of friends. This makes it easier for you to break the ice as well. Much easier to talk to someone with a shared interest than no interest at all.
And now, for the negative parts of anonymous chatrooms. Let's begin with an obvious one.
You Don't Know Who You're Talking To
We've all heard of the horror stories of people who think they're talking to a reasonable person online, and then they turn out to be someone bad. From a predator pretending to be a 14-year-old girl to a scammer who just wants to steal your personal information, you need to be vigilant when it comes to who you talk to.
Of course, you shouldn't automatically distrust anyone you talk to online; most people are good, and the bad seems more rampant because of how it's covered online. However, be smart. Don't give away your details. If you meet someone local and want to see each other in real life, do it in a safe, public place like the mall. Do not meet at their home or your home.
It Can Be Hard To Make A Connection
There are different types of chatrooms for different situations. Some chatrooms have usernames. You must register, and you can make friends with other people who have usernames too. This makes it easier to stay connected.
Then there are the truly anonymous chatrooms, where there is no registration or username. These are convenient but can be annoying if you want to find someone to talk to.
Say you're in an anonymous chatroom,and you're talking to someone, and it's going well. Then, the person logs off or disappears. If the chatroom is truly anonymous, it can be hard to talk to them again. This is especially true in chatrooms that have a rotating selection of people to chat with. These sites, such as Omegle, allow you to chat with people one at a time. Not only is it hard to form a connection, but many people on the site also have short attention spans and will leave as soon as the conversation becomes boring to them.
That's why anonymous chatrooms are best suited for casual conversations. If you want to have a better connection, go to social media, or a forum where there are usernames and thus clear ways to keep in touch. Or go to a chatroom that has usernames, making it easier to keep a connection.
It Can Be Hard To Read Tone
In a traditional chatroom, only text is used. There are video chatrooms available, but when it comes to text, the tone you speak in can be difficult to monitor. You may type something intended to be serious,and it comes across as a joke and vice versa. Words alone make it harder to express your emotions. Tone and body language are also valuable tools when expressing emotions.
That's why you should use emoticons and other ways to express how you're feeling. Of course, even with emoticons, it's still not as good as real life chat. Just make sure you don't say anything that could be misinterpreted as something negative, and correct yourself if needed. For many, talking through text is much easier than other forms of communication, but it has some flaws as well.
You're Never Truly Anonymous
One thing you must remember when using these services is that it's possible that people can find out who you are, even if you don't believe you have revealed anything private. Sometimes, you may have inadvertently used a username that is shared with another website, where you revealed other personal info. A quick Google search using your chat username can reveal if you have said anything that breaks your privacy, and you can adjust accordingly.
Also, people on the internet are good at detective work. Some can trace, or find your identity using clues.
Odds are, no one will care about you that much to do this. This is more reserved for the people who admit to doing something illegal or think they can say whatever they want just because they're anonymous. However, realizing that your identity could be revealed is a good way to prevent you from saying anything you shouldn't.
Any form of communication online has its advantages and disadvantages. Facebook allows you to connect with real people with names, but you must control what you say more. If you complain about your job, your boss may find out. Video chat allows for more expression, but the lag and delay can ruin the experience if one party or both has a poor connection. Anonymous chat is just one tool out of many, and if you want to connect with people online, it's a good tool to use.
Anonymous chat can be an excellent tool for therapy, but if you need desperate help, you should seek the advice of a professional therapist to get your life back together. Talking to a therapist can teach you valuable coping skills, and as an anonymous chatroom, it's anonymous. Your words do not leave the room unless you tell someone else.
With that said, the best therapy is to talk to professionals and also to other people. Different perspectives may make you be able to solve the problem in a much more organized fashion. If you want your problem solved, talk to some people. You'll be glad you did.