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) ?