INTERNET CHATTING 1. Seeing friends, playing sports, or watching movies – that’s what college students used to name as favorite activities for their leisure, or free time. Today chatting is often on the list. Until recently chatting meant talking informally with friends about anything at all. It meant talking face-to-face, for pleasure, usually for a short time. Nowadays, technology allows chatting between groups of people sitting at their computers, sending messages to each other over the Internet. Two or more people can be in a “chat room”, exchanging information about a specific topic or about themselves. People of all ages are typing and reading messages to discuss things with people all over the world.
2. Internet chatting is popular because it’s an easy way to have a social life. People can talk about a variety of topics on chat sites – from sports, to art and music, to business, science, and health. With Internet chat, making friends has become much easier. Typing on a computer takes away the shy or uncomfortable feelings that often go along with meeting new people in person. On-line, people often feel freer to talk.
3. Using chat rooms can be interesting and fun, but sharing information with strangers requires that chatters take precautions. One website publishes safety tips for people meeting on-line and off. The site advises chatters to stay anonymous by not giving their real names or information about where they live and work. When chatters meet in person, they should be careful to meet in a public place and bring friends along. Following these basic rules helps keep people safe.
HOWARD, L. & ADELSO-GOLDSTEIN, J. Read and Reflect. Oxford: OUP, 2004, p. 61, 62. (Adapted)