Thursday, March 6, 2008

Of chat rooms

Believe me, those things are a world of their own. I've only used yahoo chat rooms and have never tried MSN or IRC (remember those?). Yep, I can still remember the chat rooms and messengers of yester years, the advent of voice chat and cam chat - yes those were the good old days. I remember spending hours and money in internet cafe's chatting away with the world. I made some pretty good friends, learned a lot about virtual people, understood alter-ego's the hard way and learned loads about the internet and computers. I wouldnt be wrong if I were to say that most of the techno jargon I know today was obtained from those forays into the digital society.

But enough of tough words and long sentences. We're here to talk about chat rooms. If you've been to one you'll know what I will be talking about. If you havent been to one, be prepared to meet characters whose personality and lineage are intriguing, disturbing and complex than Tolkien's Middle Earth characters. Oh yes, chat rooms are a world of their own. I wont be talking about the language frequently used; I believe enough has been said about those; oh no - this is more of an insight on the various people who inhabit the chat world.

Before we start though, a disclaimer if you will. I've always logged onto Indian chat rooms. I've had brief forays into foreign chat rooms but have almost always never been able to fit in the converstations that take place there. Not to mention the fact that I've been rejected a number of times because I was Indian. Which is ironic considering I've been rejected countless number of times in Indian chat rooms because I was "mallu." The only place to go at that point of time were Kerala chat rooms where no says a darned thing ! Trust me, its like a ghost town in there.

So ... lets explore shall we ? From my experience into various chat rooms that spanned over seven years, I have come to the conclusion that chat rooms are inhabited by the following classes of people:

Mr.Frustrated:



Please note: almost always male. Penis for a brain.

Most people call them perverts. I beg to differ. These sad sorry souls are of three kinds. One: the young teenager who's libido has just "burst" onto the scene and who's probably new to the whole concept of chatting. For these kids the chat room is the ultimate wet fantasy. Sadly though, they're probably not allowed (by their parents) on any of them so whatever time they get to spend on a chat room is full of a mad desperate search for some "sex chat". Cant really blame them, weren't we all once teenagers ?

Two: The truly sexually frustrated. Age range: 25 to 50. Again almost exclusively male. Most probably will have a very very bad sense of English. You can always identify them with their disjointed meaningless sentences about sexual postures and foreplay. They will almost always not understand your nickname and will be unable to ascertain your sex. Case in point: nickname was grim_and_the_reaper. Mr Frustrated reads it as Greeshma and proceeds to "sex chat". Second case: nickname was Andy Fritz. Mr Frustrated reads: Aunty.

Three: The dangerously frustrated. They will change their preferences when at the peak of their lust. Compound it with bad English and you have one of the most weirdest conversations ever. Case in point: conversation below. AM is Alex Mcone and F3 is Mr Frustrated # 3.

F3: care to sex chat?

AM: Male here.

F3: np

AM: Sorry. Not gay.

F3: y u not happy ?

AM: I meant I'm not homosexual.

F3: me too (I have no idea what he means by that)

F3: i kiss you lips. (BUZZ!!)

AM: Are you gay ?

F3: yes. i very happy.

AM: Are you homosexual ?

F3: no

AM: So you're bisexual ?

F3: what you mean ?

AM: AAAARGHHHH !!!!!

F3: ahhhhhh, yesssssssssssssss. come in moooood.

Alter Ego:



The picture says it all doesnt it ?

Again they are of two types. One: The individual who is not happy with his or her current state of life and decides to create a non existent personality of themselves. For example, a guy scared of heights would probably claim he bungee jumps every second saturday and a girl who's not exactly popular will claim she had 33 boyfriends all of whom she slept with and wasnt very impressed. Note: the alter ego is not in the name but in the personality.

Two: An extended version of Mr. Frustrated # 3. They will change their gender in an effort to seduce unsuspecting men, like minded men and lesbians. Of course the latter results in some humorous results like when two men posing as women have "sex" with each other. Believe me, its always happened for I am yet to have met a real lesbian in any chat room. I guess they know about F3.

Mr./Ms. Romantic:



The Don Juan of cyberworld. They come in both genders and are hopelessly (literately) romantic. Some are easily identifiable by their nicknames like "male_seeks_luv" or "18girl4luv" and they come straight to the point while chatting. They also like to load the "Falling Hearts" environment while chatting so they can slap a big wet kiss on your computer screen every time they press Ctrl G.

While they're harmless they're very irritating. They keep spamming the public board with messages that are better off on personal ads like "28 m doctor seeking lady doctor for love and marriage". They also seem to believe in the ultimate commandment of humanity (thou shalt not love by looks) coz they seem to fall in love without even knowing what the person looks like. While encountering the romantic be prepared for extreme love anecdotes that will probably make you cringe. As you all know, internet romance does not have a good track record so most of them will be heart broken one way or the other. So where do they go to mend their hearts ? Yep, you guessed it : the chat rooms! And so, the circle of life is complete.

Note: The romantic does not include those who have chatted with each other for months and then decided that they probably are in love. No, the romantic for those desperate souls who fall in love with you 30 minutes after you say hi.

Cam Junkies:



A universal group. They come in all sizes, gender, race and country. Addiction: webcams. They are of three types.

One: The cam seeker. Will not have a webcam but is desperate to see one. Easily identifiable if you a are a girl or have a girly id coz they're the first one's to PM you with a one-word question: cam ? The ultimate aim of thie question ? To see you nude.

Two: The conservative cam holder. Has a cam. Will not show. Ever. Always female.

Three: The liberal cam holder. Exact opposite. Open cam. Will show everyone and usually everything. Almost always male.

Mic Junkies:



Similar to the cam junkie. Addiction: microphones. They are of two types:

One: The conventional artist. Sings either really well or eye wateringly bad. Or will just play a song. Not very irritating; you could always mute him or her if you dont want to listen. They come in both genders.

Two: The hip hop artist. The expletives of 50 cent and 2pac songs without the music ... or the rest of the lyrics for that matter. Almost exclusively male. And yes, extremely irritating.

Fundemantalists:



This is a rare one. No classifications here because a fundemntalist will always and only be that. Have you ever had someone come up to you preaching and trying to save your soul from the Devil. Well they're up there on the chat rooms too. But since most fundamentalists are averse to the internet and technology there are only a few. The ones who do come in either spew hate speeches about other religions or probably try to convert you with verses from various scriptures. They never PM you which is a relief.

I dont know what gender they come in. Usually hard to decipher since they dont PM ... and they're id's are always religious. Which makes them easy to identify.

Adults:



Now, dont get me wrong here. Adult does not mean adult themes and neither does it mean an individual over the legal age of 18. Adult in chat rooms are those who come in and do just that. Chat.

Never annoying or irritating, reading they're conversations is like hanging out with friends. Overtly friendly and they always open to strangers. However if the stranger is one of the above mentioned people, he or she is likely to get blocked.

Out of towners:



Extremely rare group. The person who has no clue why or how he or she entered the chat room. Will usually sit silent until someone comes up and chats with them, who unfortunately is always Mr. Frustrated.

Comes in both genders but is usually the occasional Filipino girl who enters Indian chat rooms. You can imagine the chaos when she does.

Note: Another out of towner: The frequent Indian boy in Filipino chat rooms.

Bots:



You've all heard the Terminator theory. One day, it seems, the computers, machines and robots will take over the world. While it may not happen in the real world it most surely will in the cyber world. Almost every chat room you enter will be filled with these despicable bots that in reality are computer programs devised to fool you into thinking you're chatting with a real person.

Bots keep getting sophisticated and real with every version of messenger. They're pretty hard to detect unless you find a pattern in their style of chat. The number of bots have increased over the years and every measure Yahoo tries to counter them, they just seem to get smarter and smarter with every move. So yes, the chatrooms of the future will belong to the bots. One day somewhere in the future you will come upon a chat room filled with bots chatting and trying to sell adult site subscriptions to each other.

Beware, the bot rebellion has begun.

Well thats about it. If you know any other classification I might have missed out do let me know. Until then, happy chatting!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Alex!
I must say, u've done an excellent job in compiling the vernacular charecters that come on the chatrooms. Although i've not come accross the various charecters u've mentioned, your shrude observation did help me in getting an idea of the chatrooms as a whole.

Thank You
C.S.Chilly

Daize Shayne said...

should ever voice a complaint or gripe you’re quickly escorted from the premises and never heard from again. GOOF… sorry, I meant GOOBER- You always amuse me.. Thanks for making me smile!! =) I believe that you must be ENR’s alter ego!!

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Anonymous said...

Good observations
Thanks for your time