Chatting Online

There was a time I interacted in online chatrooms. At first I would 'room-hop', sit and watch the interactions between people, and generally move on. I suppose I was looking for a room where I felt I could relate to what was being said, and where I could just be 'me'. What I found mostly were people trying to 'hook up', extremely heavy flirting, and the occasional argument over someone's opinion. I saw people ganged up on, cursed at, called names,,,,,needless to say, it was very discouraging. I am not trying to suggest that flirting, arguing, trying to find Mr. or Ms. Right is unacceptable. It all has its place online. Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes. It just wasn't what I was looking for.

My room hopping went on for a few weeks when one day I woke up, and said, how are you going to find someone nice to talk to if you don't stay put? With that, I decided to create my own chatroom, which I named Trish's Wishes, or some silly thing.

I hosted it for several months, when one day, this gentleman came in and said, 'So Trish, what do you wish for?' No 'hello, I'm so and so', just a simple question. I don't know what it was about him, or how to describe to you how you can get a 'feel' for the person who's speaking, but somehow I knew after only a few sentences that this was someone I could enjoy talking to. He impressed me because he didn't walk in with a 'hey baby, ya wanna get nekkid?', or, 'what size cup are you?' or, 'do you do (fill in the blank)? or 'I wish I could (fill in the blank) you'. He seemed sincere, had a great sense of humor, and was just generally nice.

Anyway, we began chatting, and he became a 'regular' in my room. People came and went but he was always there. After a period of time, I decided I was tired of a chatroom. He and I continued, what by now had become a friendship, and to this day, ten years later, we still talk and are still friends, although we have never met in person.

So, things that catch my immediate attention in a chatroom are first, people with a sense of humor, people who can talk intelligently about a variety of topics, people who can be serious, and lastly people who can take as good as they give.

I tended to think and feel with my heart, rather than my intellect, which wasn't always the best way to decide if someone was the 'real thing'. I have been lied to, more times than I care to count.

My experiences in chatrooms have taught me to go with my 'gut feeling'. I've learned to ask questions and not take everything someone says as gospel. Every once in a great while, mostly when I'm bored, I will pop into a chatroom to see what's going on, but it doesn't last long. It takes maybe five minutes to see that nobody is sharing anything worthwhile.

So, here I am, many years since my chatroom days, in HubPages. For me, this gives me a little of both, the fun a chatroom CAN be, but more importantly, talking and sharing with people who have more to say than, 'hey baby, wanna (fill in the blank) ?

Comments 62 comments

William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Interesting commentary, Trish. I've never been signed up with a chat room so it's nice to have a first hand account of what it is like. It sounds pretty much as I suspected. From the comments I see frequently on various social sites, they're filled with immature, often anonymous juveniles looking for their 15 minutes of fame on the Internet. On the other hand, serious discussion boards, such as you find here on HubPages and on the Bing Crosby Internet Museum, where I participate occasionally, offer genuine online camaraderie with intelligent, often helpful, strangers.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi William,

It was quite an experience. Some rooms had so much traffic you needed to be a speed-reader to follow any semblance of a conversation. I did however, manage to find some decent rooms, but I really had to search through a lot of junk.

I certainly agree with you that HP for the most part is very genuine.  I'm still fairly new to HP but have found, as you mention, very helpful 'strangers'.  So refreshing!

Thanks for taking time to stop in and for your nice comments,

Trish


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

I am new to chat lines and have been participating in a couple on a site called "BoomerTowne".. ..I have never laughed so hard so much..and just here alone. I have found several nice friends on here and agree that you do get a feeling for a genuine person very quickly...well for me anyway. It can move quickly at times and then other times you really get to chat with one or two people...I love it..G-Ma :o) hugs


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Trish, thanks for a great hub, you have actually touched on a very sensitive issue with this hub.

I, after my first wife passed away, started frequenting chatrooms, a lot more frequently, and got to know a lot of people on the web. Some as phoney as a $3 bill, and a lot of sincere caring people as well.

I too started to holme in unto a kindred soul, whose keyboard and mine seemed to click fairly well, and we actual met up after 3 months for coffee.

Despite all the profits of doom, dire WARNINGS and the rest.

We got married and have been happile married for 3 years int the middle of last month.

Thanks for the callback the past type hub.


Ananta65 8 years ago

Reading your hub, there is one thing (apart from having a sense of humor and being intelligent) that ‘hit the soft spot’: respect. Respect and interest are essential in (online) communication, if you ask me.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi G-Ma,

It's nice to find a decent chatroom. Just prior to my creating my own room, I had found a chatroom that had basically the same people coming in all the time, most of whom were quite nice. I did actually meet a fella from that experience. He was just a lot of fun and seemed to be the 'glue' so to speak that held the room together. Every now and then we still say hi.

Glad you found something you enjoy, thanks so much for your comments,

Trish


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Just_Rodney,

What a nice story!  I too have heard of success stories about people meeting through a chatroom.  I fully understand what you mean about the dire warnings.  I've heard them too.  I took heed and made sure to meet the person in a public place, give a description of what I was wearing to my family/friends, etc.  Back then, my counter-argument to the nay-sayers was that you could just as easily meet a pervert or whacko in a bar or anywhere. They are just as much a stranger to you as someone in a chatroom.

My hubby died in 86, and somewhere in the early 90s I got my first computer.  Once I figured out how to navigate, I eventually ended up in the chatrooms.  I did agree to meet a total of four people over a period of years.  Two of them I dated, one of them was just a friend, and one guy I went to meet I totally blew off.  I pretended I didn't even see him LOL,,,he was NOT what he proclaimed to be, 'tall, dark and handsome', he was actually scary looking.  I put the pedal to the metal and took off to my son's house I was so creeped out LOL,,,

I am still friends with one I dated and we do go out once in a great while.

So, congratulations on your marriage, and I wish you many happy years together,

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story,

Trish 


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Ananta65,

I agree. I only mentioned a few things, but I know there are many other traits/characteristics that attract people to each other. Respect and some common interests are very much key. Some others might include someone who is romantic, how someone views marriage/kids, educational background, religious beliefs,,the list goes on.

Thanks so much for stopping by and your comments,

Trish


Ananta65 8 years ago

The list can be long and also may depend on the mood you're in when you go out to chat, but (for me anyway) the fundament of any good chat is mutual respect.

You're welcome :)


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Trish! I have never been to any chat rooms or forum etc until I came to Hubpages. So I'm sure I would be disappointed as I would compare.

great hub regards Zsuzsy


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Ananta,

LOL, yes, again I agree with you.  It certainly has to do with your mood and frame of mind at the time.  Also, like you, I would hope there would be respect involved.

Thanks for your input, I appreciate it,

Trish


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 8 years ago from Southern California, USA

Trish,

I agree with you that creating your own chatroom can set ground rules for positive interactions with people.  There are some Yahoo! chat rooms where people are civil, such as crafting or sewing chats, but I suspect this is because the majority of people would not go into one of these rooms.  I actually met one interesting person the first and last time I went on the myspace chatrooms.  I only went to chatrooms several times ever out of curiousity, but with Hubpages I feel this is so much better.  I really enjoy the conversations in the forums and with people I have talked to over email.  Thanks for the great Hub.


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Only a pleasure thanks for posting this Hub


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Zsuzsy,

Well, certainly, HP and chatrooms have totally different agendas, If you WERE to venture into a chatroom, you at least KNOW what you have here, so judging would be a very natural thing to do. Actually, it would be a plus, because you would then be able to search for a chatroom that had meaningful input. They really are out there, it's just a matter of finding it.

Thanks for the compliment and stopping by,

Trish


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi SweetiePie,

You have a very valid point regarding specific chatrooms.  Naming a room, in my opinion, is key in trying to attract the kinds of people you would like to interact with.  Similar interests, etc.  Just as you mention, a lot of folks probably would not drop into a sewing or craft room, certainly not people who are looking for their next date LOL,,,

I too, much prefer HP.  Everyone I've spoken with here have been nothing but kind, caring people.

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Trish


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 8 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Very well done hub, Trish, and thank you for answering my hub request. I find that humor, respect and intelligence helps with online communication, but the most important to me is being genuine, no pretenses behind the words. My mate and I met online, and I was not looking for romance on the net,as I had just left a bad relationship, but we developed a deep friendship and now we are together. :)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Just_Rodney,

You are very welcome. I look forward to you visiting my future hubs :)

Trish


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi VioletSun,

Thank you, and you're very welcome.  I definitely agree about 'pretenses'.  One of the guys I met was a pathological liar, something it took me a long time to figure out.  Not that I'm stupid lol, but he was very convincing.

Meeting someone from a chatroom isn't always a nightmare, as you discovered, there are nice people out there, you just have to find them :)

Thanks for posting this request and your comments,

Trish


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I've been invited to, crashed, or stumbled upon a number of chat rooms during my Internet life. The friendships I've walked away with are few, but I value them very much.

Being in a new chat is like going to a flea market or yard sale or bargain store...you have to sift through the stuff that's there to see if there's anything you want to go home with.

Genuine people who respect the human race always shine through (unless they are of the pathological liar mentality, in which case no one is immune from being taken in ((*hugs* to you, Patty))).

Nice hub, Patty!


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Funny how in a chatroom,forum or even in emails, you get to know a person's insides first because you don't see the outsides... no physical body,no smiles or body language, no age or gender --you are not distracted by anything so you kind of have this intense cerebral and emotional connection to what is really a "virtual person" You kind of get to peer into their soul which can be very interesting. Thanks for another great and wonderfully personal hub.


Ananta65 8 years ago

I’ve spent quite some time in chat rooms and on discussion forums, Robie. In my experience people – just like in real life – show you what they want you to see. On the internet – just as in real life – it’s very well possible to hide things and keep up appearances.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Sally,

LOL, I like your analogy of the fleamarket, as you well know, I can soooo relate LOL,,I have brought home some 'questionable items',,,things that I didn't quite know what it was or why it appealed to me, or what I would do with it once I got it home but home it came. And, like the pathological liar, some of those items found their way back out the door LOL,,

Thanks for stopping by and the hugs :)

Patty


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Robie2,

You are so right. When in a chatroom, you have nothing to go on but conversation. Interaction is not based on age/gender/race simply because you can only go by what you are told. I wonder how many people have formed friendships without seeing who they were talking to, and have come to find out that the someone they found they liked, would have never happened if they had met in person first, due to prejudices about age/race/gender, etc.

Glad you enjoyed the hub, thank so much for stopping by,

Trish


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Ananta,

It is very easy for someone to present a false self.  And, in some cases, those people don't even realize they are doing it, they believe their own lies. While some people are very good at keeping up a false pretense, there are others who are very good at picking up on pretenses.  I believe it's called 'instinct', 'intuition' and sometimes 'gut feelings'. Some people choose to go with that, while others choose to either not see, or ignore the signs. 

In my case, I tend to trust too easily.  Sometimes it is easy to spot the false person, other times not so much.  It's only through time and interaction that you can then form an opinion. In time, usually, the 'real' self eventually shows.

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Trish


annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 8 years ago from Philly Burbs

Hi Trish, I really enjoyed reading this hub, and all of the good conversation it has sparked. You can (fill in the blank) me anytime! Love you!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Annemaeve,

Thank you so much!! Glad you enjoyed it. It's great to see you back!!!! Hope you stay :)

love you too!

Patty


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA

Ahhhh the memories this article brings back :) I'm not saying anything more because well...you'll see! You and I seriously have to talk some more though.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Spryte! 

Oh my! Sounds mysterious LOL,,,,,I can't wait to hear!

Thanks for stopping by,

Trish


summer10 profile image

summer10 8 years ago from my happy place :)

The internet has changed our culture on so many different levels. Socializing has never been easier. Opening a wide array of new doors, that should be carefully opened. Funny thing though, it seems lonlieness is on the rise.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi summer10,

You're absolutely right. I was so addicted to chatrooms when I first got my computer,,,,it took me several years to lose the addiction.

The lonliness I feel is because so many people choose to sit behind the computer, and even though they may join the chatrooms, they are still isolating themselves from living. It's easy to talk to people in chatrooms but it's a far cry from going outside and interacting with people in person. So, even though chatters may defend their 'socializing', they know, in their heart of hearts, that when they sign off, they are still alone.

Thanks again for stopping by,

Trish


knslms profile image

knslms 8 years ago from North Carolina

I wonder if anyone has actually picked up a partner with the wanna get nekkid thing (besides the dateline nbc guys) I used to see stuff like that allot when I would go to the chatrooms.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi knsims,

Good question! I'm sure some people out there respond to that kind of thing. At the very least, people who say those things cut right to the chase lol. I'd even go so far as to say girls come out with some outrageous things also, thinking they are humorous, or cute. It is beyond me what type of person those folks are trying to attract by dishing out cheesy pick-up lines. I suppose it's just for the attention, saying to the room at large, hey, notice me! I think they just don't realize the 'types' they'll attract by behaving that way. But, the world is a funny place, and for whatever reason, what doesn't work for one, will work for the other, and I suppose I could go one step further, and say that people who behave that way are genuinely nice people. This hub was simply my interpretation of how I perceived things.

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting,

Trish


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 8 years ago from India

Just stumbled upon this Trish...and it definitely strikes a chord. Though I have never frequented chatrooms I did get drawn into the whole social networking thing and while it was fun to interact with like-minded people for a while, the scales soon started dropping from my eyes. You really can't tell who is being genuine and who isn't...


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Feline,

You are so right. It is so easy to hide behind a computer and spout things you think people want to hear. I find it is very easy for people to get fooled, especially if you're one who tends to trust what people tell you. The liar I was involved with told the same lies over and over, so for me it was a 'truth' of sorts. Had I bothered to question those lies, I might have been a lot better off. The good news is I did finally find the real truth.

Interacting with those kinds of people tends to make one cynical, which, I can be at times. I much prefer being myself and believing for the most part that people are who they say they are. Really, I think the only answer to who is genuine and who is not is through a test of time.

One day, when you're bored, drop into a chatroom. You'll get to see what really goes on in there, and sad to say, a lot of them are just crap. There really are good ones out there, you just have to find them.

Thanks so much for commenting and stopping by.


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia

Nice hub Trish! Memories...you always seem to trigger those memories...

I got my first computer in the same time frame...90's, and I used to room hop on AOL. One night I hopped into a room called "Juicy Chat" (LOL) and that's where I met my best friend ever. :) Go figure how it's even possible to meet a nice person in a room called Juicy Chat.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Pam, Pam, Pam,,,,,you're a riot!  I'm guessing you've noticed by now, the majority of my writing is from memories.  I'm not into other kinds of writing such as religion, politics, etc.  It's not to say I don't read those, I do, and sometimes leave comments, but, for me, my writing has to come from the heart.

I could share some 'juicy' stories with you about chatrooms!  I spent many years in them, when I finally settled on a room that had mostly decent folks in it.  I met one guy there, and eventually drove myself to Buffalo, NY to meet him.  I have family up there, so it wasn't a wasted trip.  When I think back, I can't believe I took that ride by myself.  It took me about 12 hours, as I live in Jersey.  Thankfully, this guy and I had been talking for well over a year, and he was just as nice in person.  Fun stuff!

Thanks again for stopping by and commenting.  Funny, you always trigger smiles over here :)


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 8 years ago from Virginia

Trish, it's so obvious that you write from the heart, and I think that's what draws so many people to you and your writing. And writing about memories is a good thing because bringing that realness into your writing for others to experience is very special. That's how you touch so many others, and you do it well. :)

Plus you make me smile and giggle and get hungry over stew recipes and all those good things. :)

It's so great that you found such a nice person in a chat room. I think what you said is key in that it takes finding a room with decent people. But you have nerves of steel to be able to make that long drive by yourself to meet someone for the first time! You go girl! I'm just glad it turned out well.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Pam

Aren't you a sweetie!  Thank you so much for your kind words.  I'm just glad I found my niche.

It looks like I need to publish some more recipes.  I've been making that stew ever since I got married, compliments of my mom :)   I don't often cook anymore like I used to, for various reasons, the most recent being, for the past four years I was working two jobs.  It left me with pretty much zero time.  That did change, however, so now I work a normal 40 hour week.  I love one pot meals.  You get plenty to eat with little fuss.  My hubby's favorite meal was stuffed cabbage.  Now that is time consuming!  Maybe I'll throw that recipe out here.

As to the chatroom, I once created my own.  I met a guy in there more than 8 years ago that I talk to to this day.  So, yes, there are nice people out there, it's just a matter of finding them.  I certainly met my share of jerks too lol, but it was all fun.  I made a girlfriend from Florida, and her and I spend many, many hours on here sharing long talks and many laughs.

Thanks again Pam for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :)


preeto 8 years ago

hello.........anybody out there


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

thanks for stopping by


britneydavidson profile image

britneydavidson 7 years ago from united kingdom

nice hub....sounds really nice....loved to read it again and again


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Britney,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.  Glad you enjoyed it.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

As you already figured out Trish, I have several hubs about my online experiences and actually have married someone that I met online who I flew to England to meet for the first time.

I have tons of stories I could tell. But, like most, I found it easy to get addicted to chatrooms and online flirting. People feel freer to say things to you that they wouldn't dream of saying face to face. Sometimes it was b.s. but sometimes it also meant someone was able to open their heart for the first time. I made lots of friends, male and female.

You made the comment above about how the socializing online is still different than getting out in the real world, and I agree. However, I think the internet is a great resource for people who lack the courage to get out into the real world. Even if it's for a few hours a day, they have the opportunity to interact with a real life human. Before the internet, how could they do that? I think with enough encouragement from the people they talk to many of them eventually do make than transition to the real world.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

KCC,

I bet you and I could spend hours discussing our online experiences :)

I still remember the day my son started bugging me to get a computer.  I wanted no part of it.  He, at the time, belonged to AOL, so he sat me down and showed me what it was all about, the chatrooms, etc.  As I watched, I said what?  I couldn't do that, it's too crazy.

Uh huh.  Here I am over 10 yrs later, loving it.  As I may have mentioned, I no longer frequent chatrooms, but the experiences I had there I wouldn't trade for anything.  Met a lot of folks, some weird, some not so weird.

I agree that this is a great way of communicating, and while it is definitely a positive thing that the media has seen to it to warn people of its dangers, there's still a lot of good that comes from it.  You're an example, meeting your hubby here.  Sometimes though, I think the press about it is a case of overkill, and I wonder how many people take what's being said seriously, and how many ignore it, only for their experience to end tragically.

Plenty of pros and cons to online dating, certainly.


shibashake profile image

shibashake 7 years ago

I'm with you on this. Chatrooms were not for me either. I prefer socializing on HubPages or in an online game. In both these places there is a surrounding environment with activities and goals, so there is more interesting stuff to chat about, and there are things to do other than chatting.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi shibashake,

You're absolutely right.  This community, as well as the game communities I find to be much more mentally stimulating.  I do not regret, however, the time I spent in chatrooms because if nothing else, they were a lot of fun.  It just wasn't the place to get the gray matter in high gear.  It seems that the chatrooms have nothing more to offer than the latest gossip or how and when to hook up.

I'm guessing that my tastes have changed with the passing of time.  I'm not suggesting that my days of having fun are over, because certainly, there is fun to be had here as well as in the game rooms.  I just figure it's important to expand my thinking and learning skills.

Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting.


sunshinelsf 7 years ago

hello


rahul 7 years ago

hi

i m rahul


A.M. Gwynn 7 years ago

Trish this is great. I once tried the chatroom thing (wow it seems light years away now) friends only kind of thing... the farther away they lived the better. But as you said, I got turned off because of the distasteful arguments and the constant come on's.

I'm sure it's only worse now. Ha!

How nice, that after 10 years, this person still came, just to chat. I love that.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

hi A.M.!

In the past year, out of sheer boredom, I went into a few, but very soon left. Nothing has changed, it's still pretty much the same ole, same ole. I suppose if I were to find a room I was even remotely interested in, and stayed put day after day that I could probably meet some nice people. But do I want to meet someone in person? No, not anymore. I'll take my chances out here in the real world :)

Yes, it is nice that he and I are still friends. He too has abandoned the chatroom scene. He's also decided that he doesn't even want to spend as much time on here as he once did, so our conversations have dwindled to about once a week, which is fine. We will always be friends.

Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I like your take on this subject. I'm not much of a chatter, but always wondered about the chatroom culture.

Great post!


Princess Rakeeya 6 years ago

hi I am new here.


Zara Butt 6 years ago

Hi,i m zara from lahore.I would like to say that "NOT TO BECOME A MAN OF SUCCESS BUT A MAN OF VALUES"


Princess pink 6 years ago

Hey , I'm single and I want a boyfriend now ! I love looks , personality , kindness and lawfulness ! ! ! :D


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Princess,

I'm not sure you'll find it in a chatroom. Not to say you shouldn't try them out, but there are many frogs to go through before you find your prince :)


littlewrm8 6 years ago

hey trish1048


asc 5 years ago

very nice


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Thank you, asc.


amanda 5 years ago

i am new at all this so hi.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi amanda,

Thanks for stopping by and welcome to HP. Enjoy!


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 4 years ago

Great Hub Trish - the thing about HP is that writers are here to write and share their knowledge. The rest follows - I've always found relationships are something you don't actually have to look for - you just do what you love which sets you on a path and others show up!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago Author

Hi psychicdog,

That's why I'm here, to write. The fact that you get to meet and know many other people is a bonus, in my opinion. Based on my experience, the relationships formed here, in contrast to those formed in chatrooms, are on a higher intellectual level. I am not on HP to find my knight in shining armor, but hey, stranger things have happened :)

I do like your thought of doing what you love. You are absolutely right, people will show up. What I also like is sharing not only with folks of like minds, but also, meeting those who have a different point of view. I've gained quite a different perspective on many topics/issues, in ways I hadn't considered. Quite enlightening!

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

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