Talk To Strangers Online Without Being A Troll
Updated September 04, 2018
A good way to practice social skills, especially for those of us who tend to be a little awkward in company, is to talk to strangers online https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/chat/theres-no-harm-in-an-online-chat-with-strangers-or-is-there/. Over time, a set of rules has developed to guide us as to what are good manners on the internet, and what kind of behavior is just offensive. Even in an anonymous chat room, there's no reason to go out of your way to annoy people or hurt their feelings - making the world a better place often means doing the simple things in the right way.
Learn the Basics
While things like not TYPING IN ALL CAPS and knowing what LOL stands for should be common knowledge, a few people online still haven't figured it out. Particularly for children, this is excusable, but fixing this problem takes very little real effort.
Know the Forum Rules Before You Talk to Strangers Online
Some online forums and chat rooms are totally free-form and may have no rules at all, but those that do have typically instated those for a reason. Most will, at a minimum, remove comments that are explicitly racist, sexist or personally hurtful, while others expect users to follow reasonable guidelines when creating new threads and so forth.
Simply reading the FAQ, combined with some common sense, should tell you all you need to know. Additionally, try to stick to the topic the message board or thread was created for; if someone is discussing feminism, don't insert a random thought on aquarium care.
Remember the Person on the Other End
The only reason you're typing something is so that someone can read it, but many people tend to forget that this person will be a live human being. Writing a message that can be difficult to understand, or can be interpreted in more than one way, shows that you don't value the other party's time.
If you're asking another person to do something for you, be polite instead of using phrases such as "you have to." Chances are, he doesn't have to do anything for you, and won't if you're that rude.
Look for the Right Advice in the Right Space
Anonymous strangers on the internet are often extremely helpful, whether you are trying to fix a spreadsheet error or want to know where in town you can buy some kind of odd item. Still, while everybody needs some guidance from time to time, expecting people you don't know to listen to and solve your personal problems is going a little far.
If you want to know more about a legal matter, for example, there are websites where you can ask for general information. If you are going through a difficult time, professional help is also available. Depending on the level of assistance you need, this may not be free, but this generally just means you're talking to someone qualified, which is fair. Following the advice of a random stranger will often do more harm than good.
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Practicing good manners online is the modern equivalent of wearing a tie and knowing what fork to use at dinner. Using anonymity as an excuse for poor behavior not only harm others but also build habits that will carry over into daily life. Think twice before you click "Send", don't post anything you wouldn't normally say to another person, and, if the tone of an argument is going down fast, just disconnect.