Talking to strangers isn’t easy regardless
if you’re doing it in real life or online.
Having a fun time online is something you’re probably looking for, but you need to keep in mind some basic things before you even get there. The words you use and the rules you apply to your online experience are important to make both you and other chat users feel comfortable and at ease.
Remember to obey the rules of basic human interaction - say hello when you start talking to someone and goodbye when you leave. Some exceptions here are obviously rude people and potential predators - if someone comes across as threatening, inquiries too much about your personal or intimate details, you are not obliged to still be nice and understanding, your comfort should come first.
It might be easier to know at least a few popular Internet abbreviations, like LOL, LMAO, ROTFL and many more. These are often widely used so you should expect people online to write messages centered around those words. So if someone responds to your words with one of these, be prepared. If you don’t understand something that was said or written, look it up, you will learn a new thing - and most of those phrases can be seen in every corner of the internet so you might get curious about it anyway, later on.
Try to talk and make contacts instead of keeping quiet. Talking to strangers isn’t easy regardless if you’re doing it in real life or online. But keep in mind that people on the Internet don’t know you or who you are, unless you tell them. This does make it possible for dangerous people to feel like they won’t be punished because no one will track them down, but this isn’t true. No one can be truly anonymous online, but if you’re doing nothing wrong there is nothing to be afraid of. You can have harmless discussions about what interests you, sing karaoke together on webcam. If you keep it casual and fun until you are sure of the other person’s identity, chats will serve their purpose for you.
Just like in reality, don’t bombard the other person with content - be it text or what you’re showing on video. Remember not to write in all caps if you’re writing, even if you don’t intend to be impolite here or yell this is a standard that’s followed by the majority of people using the Internet. Don’t talk about controversial topics. Sometimes even constructive arguments and valid statements might start a fight or dispute online. Some words might also hurt or offend others. Even if you feel like you don’t owe people online anything, they are still people and there is a name behind every person you encounter in chat rooms. You don’t know who they are, so think about what you say. Don’t try to convince others that only your opinion matters.
Use the vocabulary that fits the situation and the person you’re talking to. If someone doesn’t understand a word of your language, it makes no sense to force it on them. Use translators and dictionaries when talking to foreigners, that might reduce their stress if they see that you’re making an effort to understand them. The rules of talking to people online generally match what you should be doing when talking to people in reality - it’s just their format that changes.