I've spent some time chatting to various people using ICQ and MSN, on and off over a period of about 2 years. I've learned a lot of things, and a lot of "rules" of what happens when you chat online to somebody, and what to expect.
Before I get into the topic of discussing the strange ones, I'll just say here that I've met some wonderful, bright, interesting, enthusiastic, wise and compassionate people online. But I won't be talking about those ones here.
These are my own experiences, yours may vary. Many of these ideas have been verified by others I've chatted to. There are some strange people out there, and a few good ones. A good chat partner is often hard to find. Many of the rest fall into the categories detailed below. If you want to chat with me, then you can find me on ICQ, number 76-427-178. Please don't contact me if you fall into the first 9 of the 10 categories below. And read my profile first!! Also, some people seem to think that this particular icon on ICQ is somehow charming:-
when in fact, the ICQ icon above is one of the most hideous and disturbing things on that software. This "smiley" has the chattering teeth of the Hellraiser chatterer and what's more, appears to have a ball gag in it's mouth. It's just not nice.
If you're a male on ICQ, then if you've set yourself "available for chat", then it's not going to be long before you get a chat request from some <insert nationality here. you know who you are!> girls. You can almost guarantee that within about 5 lines or 5 mins (whichever the sooner), they're going to ask you something like "Do you like <insert nationality here> girls?". This will either be preceeded or followed by the inevitable "Are you married?". If you are married of course, the conversation will come to a halt soon after. They will also tell you (if you let them) just what pigs they think their own countrymen are. Here is a typical example :
Virgin (18:30): regards do you speak Russian
Michael (18:31) No, I don't. Sorry.
Virgin (18:33) : you here?
Michael (18:34) : Yes
Virgin (18:34) : YOU are married?
Michael (18:35) : No
Michael (18:35) : Are you?
Virgin (18:35) : I too not to be married.
Michael (18:37) : Do you have a job?
Virgin (18:41) : I am an interest by sex
**I give up**
If you're a female on ICQ, then you get a whole world of insane requests. From what I've learned by chatting to others, this will often be from (but not limited to) either Egyptians, Turks or Indians. Often the request will start with a smiley face, a love heart or a flower. Slushy greasy chat up lines will soon follow, of a level found in cheap greetings cards or poor quality song lyrics, which is no doubt where they are being copied from. Of course, with these people, the conversation will naturally, (or unnaturally) turn to sex quite quickly.
Many of the people out there fit into this category. The conversation below is a typical example of what happens. People who are on chat who are compulsive liars, or have inconsistent stories and/or non-sequitors. More fun are the ones who are delusional, and tell you that they're on the run from the police or something. Or you get ones like below:-
deeree (22:01) : Hello how are you dalring ?
Michael (22:01) : I'm fine how are you?
deeree (22:01) : fine thsk,just feeling very horny dalring
Michael (22:02) : you mean "darling". Where are you?
deeree (22:02) : yes im in France
Michael (22:03) : Are you male/female how old... etc. You've no personal info on ICQ at all.
---** Next day**---
deeree (19:37) : Hello How are you dalring? (same intro, notice! probably automated for heaven knows what reason)
Michael (19:37) : You again
Michael (19:38) : Didn't you learn how to spell "Darling" last time?
I mean what exactly is this person after? Possibly wanting to chat about sex maybe? But if that's the case, then why not continue with the chatting? Why come online to say a few lines to some total stranger and then not continue with it? Unless you happen to be searching for someone as mad as you are.
People who purport to be on ICQ to chat, and actually have no conversation in them at all. They're the ones who confuse me the most. Why go on chat for silence? You can ask them a simple question, like "What's your favourite film?" and wait a long time for the answer. They don't ask you the same in return, and then you ask them why it's their favourite and they say something like "I dunno". Some people are just boring boring boring. Then you end up asking them questions and they'll give you the shortest answer possible.
There are so many of these. ICQ is the Samaritans of the day, but with damaging help as well as good help. If you're looking for for those oh-so-comforting words.. "I understand" then look no further than the world of internet chat. You'll find them from someone, sooner or later. It'll probably be sooner. Chat to enough people and you'll soon think that everyone in the world understands you except the one person you should be telling all these open feelings to: your real life partner. Likewise, many other people out there are searching for someone like you to tell them those same magic words, "I understand".
When you chat to someone with relationship problems, you'll find that once they are solved, settled and happy, they may turn into this next type:-
Face facts. No matter who you chat to and how well you think you know them, there is always that possibility that one day, they will just be online no more. If you are unlucky, no reason will be given, no email sent, no "goodbye" on chat. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Diddly. You'll find yourself wondering what you did, what they did and if your "save chat history" checkbox is not ticked, what it was that you both last said to each other. You can either give up and move on, or track them down like an internet stalker. This disappearance becomes even more frustrating when you've actually met them in real life, got on well and then they still disappear months later for no reason causing worry etc.
If you are happy with your partner, then for pity's sake uninstall Yahoo chat, ICQ and MSN, and keep away from chat rooms. It will only make problems and the new person you meet online will soon cause you to become dissatisfied with a happy relationship. If you are unhappy with your partner, then chatting on the Internet is a sure-fire way to make things a hell of a lot worse. When someone tells you something like "You deserve better", then your relationship will soon be heading for trouble.
Once you've discussed films, music, your relationship problems, their relationship problems, food, the weather in their country, your favourite place to travel etc... there comes a time in every chat where, after the initial frenzied exchange of information and likes/dislikes, opinions etc you've just got nothing left to chat about. You can cover this first period very quickly if you go at it long enough each day/evening, and then you're like "Errrm... what shall I ask them now?" Eventually you or they just can't be bothered any more with a pointless exchange of pleasantries, and you they just remain a name on a contact list.
I've been lucky enough to not meet any of these, but I've been reliably informed that once they get hold of one of your primary real-life contacts such as mobile, landline or email, then they are harder to get rid of than a Readers Digest subscription.
Men pretending to be girls in order to talk about sex, girls pretending to be something they are not, general weirdos and all of them best avoided. If they start off their conversation asking for sexual preferences, then give them a miss unless you really want to help someone else get off. It is not just guys that start conversations with some sexual comment.
In my experience, most people who are on chat fall into this category. Some of them just happen to fall into the categories above as well.
Like this article? Hate it? Then let me know.
Copyright © M.F.Hughes 2005-2006