The Do’s And Don’ts Of Chatting With Strangers Online

Ahh, the online blogosphere—such a magical place. In this day and age, you can practically do anything with the help of the internet. You can order a pizza, find how-to videos, and even make a few friends along the way. Now, there are certain rules to follow when striking up a conversation with strangers online. It’s important to keep these in mind; remember safety always comes first! While chatting up a stranger may seem new and exciting, we want to make sure that you stay safe while still having fun. Here are a few do’s and don’ts of chit-chatting with strangers online.

Don’ts:

1. Never, ever EVER share your personal information with a stranger. This includes your home address, your phone number, the school you attend—even your last name! When typing away in your computer, it’s easy to get carried away with wanting to tell your new friend all about yourself. Keep the personal details on the down low and instead talk about fun hobbies or the latest episode of The Good Wife. Is Alicia really over Will? Hmm…

2. Don’t download anything from anyone you don’t know. Whether it’s a file, a photo or a video, downloading strange things can lead to bizarre computer viruses or even a potential hack. Remember, you never really know who you are talking to just by looking at a computer screen name, so downloading anything is an absolute NO.

3. Don’t feel obligated to talk about anything that makes you uncomfortable or scared. Don’t forget that chatting online is supposed to be fun! If a topic is brought up that doesn’t sit well with you, leave the chat immediately. Keep in mind that you are always in control. Under no circumstance should you be forced to talk or think about anything inappropriate.

4. And finally, don’t post a personal picture of yourself. If “Stranger Sally” is asking what you look like, time to put up the red flag. It is never necessary for someone to know what you look like; signs like these can turn creepy real quick.

 

Do’s:

 

1. While there are some weirdo’s out there in the world, let’s not forget that most people are friendly! If you find someone who likes the same restaurants as you or who is also obsessed with Gilmore Girls then feel free to talk the night away! Just keep the conversation light and about your common interests.

2. Do stay open-minded and listen carefully. Maybe someone needs a friend; you could be that friend. Sometimes gabbing with strangers can turn into a close bond or just another person you can turn to for a laugh.

3. Try to find chat rooms that reflect your personal tastes and interests. There are tons of fun blogs and messaging apps that are specific to certain activities, like cooking. Perhaps you could find a killer risotto recipe! Or the best brownie mix out there. By keeping your chats specific, it’s easy to create friendships.

4. Always listen to your gut. 99.9% of the time, your gut will tell you what’s right and what’s wrong. You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when something doesn’t feel right? That’s your gut. You know that feeling of excitement that fills your entire body? That’s also your gut. Your gut is looking out for you, and you’d be surprised with how accurate your gut can be. If something inside of you is telling you something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. Pay attention to how your body responds to certain people online.

See? Talking to strangers online doesn’t always have to be a nightmare. By following these do’s and don’ts, engaging with someone you don’t know can be a cool experience and can lead to a possible friendship! These guidelines are to make sure that you stay safe in the wacky, wonderful world of the internet.

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