At one time, being social simply meant talking to friends and neighbors. However, this has expanded to include friends and family all over the world in various chatrooms and websites on the internet. The “information super highway” has made it but a small trip to be magically transported in a way that knows no bounds. In fact, AOL chatrooms are the most popular places to congregate on the Internet. People meet from all over the world to see what is new with new friends and acquaintances that would have been out of reach before. So, what is the allure of AOL chatrooms and why are they chosen over the people right outside your front door?
One factor many people like about the internet is the autonomy. You can enter an AOL chatroom and no one knows who you are other than details you provide. This seems like a very safe environment for many people that prefer not to get too personal too quickly. This autonomy also instills a sense of freedom that actually allows people to be more honest in many ways. All the cards can be put on the table before identity or contact information is divulged. Therefore, someone can be sure they will be accepted before they really introduce themselves. On the other hand, this is also an area of potential concern. How can you ever know you are being told the truth when you are talking to someone thousands of miles away…or even more scary, someone that is just around the corner?
Life is also categorized in AOL chatrooms. If you fit a particular profile and want to talk to similar people, you can enter a chatroom that is structured for and around what you are looking for. You also have a pretty good idea who you are surrounding yourself with before you ever say a word. This type of convenience is rarely available in real life. Is there any way to know your neighbor has a particular trait you hold in high regard without first getting somewhat personal? Do you want to get into your personal life before you know if you will be accepted by this other person?
The most obvious draw to AOL chatrooms and other internet communities is the diversification of the people you can meet. If you are in a small town in Indiana, you may be fairly limited in the people you can meet. However, with a little help from the internet, you can talk to a safari hunter half a world away with the click of a mouse. There is no limit to what you can experience or learn from people all over the world.