The Chat Room Essay Research Paper Michael

The Chat Room Essay, Research Paper

Michael Yost

Dr. Mary Henderson


English 1101

The Chat Room

As Dr. Barry Mowell of Broward Community College once put it,

“One of the most effective vehicles for wasting your time and

interacting with pre-pubescent or otherwise immature, rude people

who frequently engage in gross self aggrandizement and ill-

mannered behavior would be the internet chatroom.” When I read

that six months ago, I ventured into a chat room for the first time. I

found that a chat room can be quite addicting. I have since chatted

on the internet every day with little exception.

Since I am a computer science major, I looked for chat about that

subject. On America Online, hereafter referred to as AOL, I found

that in the category “Special Interests” tech chat fit my requirements.

When I first went to it, I didn’t know any of the abbreviations. In a

chatroom, in addition to talking about tech subjects, there is a

compelling desire to laugh. They express that as LOL, short for

laugh out loud. There also is ROFL, meaning rolling on the floor

laughing. There are other abbreviations, some utilizing profanity.

Essentially, over the last six months, I have begun to notice that

the people in the room can be classified into some simple

categories. These may be generalizations but are wholly accurate

and appear to encompass the entire spectrum of people who chat.

There are helpers, non-helpers, SNERTS, script kiddies, hackers,

and relationship seekers.

First of all, there are those who help people with their computer

questions. They seem to go to extraordinary lengths to do so, freely

assisting people with their computer questions very patiently.

Then there are those who help no one. Either they dont know how

to or simply refuse to help. Some of them may be termed smart

alecks because, when someone asks for help or a tech question,

they give rude and sometimes obnoxious answers. When someone

comes in the room and gets an answer like that, they frequently


Then there are what we term SNERTS (short for snot nosed

egotistical rude twerps). The name speaks for itself. The SNERT

is usually some small person who thinks they can hide behind the

computer screen and get away with being rude and annoying.

The next category is the script kiddie. The script kiddie desires to

be a hacker. They know certain codes or scripts that will disrupt the

room. They can be quite annoying. For example, they can send

scripts into the room that will erase the entire rooms text. Or they can

send many lines of text into the room. That is called scrolling. They

can even exploit weaknesses in someone’s computer or program and

boot or punt them offline.

Another category is true hackers. Hackers are quite

knowledgable. Some use their power for good, and others to

destroy. Hacking can be illegal and hackers can be prosecuted if

they break the law and are caught. A real hacker however, will never

get caught.

Then there are those who seek companionship. They can

be seeking true love or just a good time. Some represent

themselves honestly, while others are deceptive about

their true selves.

AOL has taken steps to eliminate some of the people that act

in an inapropriate manner. The first line of defense is a box that

when checked, removes the person’s text from your screen. That

is called “Ignore.” The next step is the “Notify AOL” button. One

copies what the person has typed and sends it to AOL. Once sent,

the community action team reviews it for possible violation of TOS.

TOS is AOL’s terms of service. If there is a violation of the terms, you

can lose your account or get a TOS warning. Three warnings in six

months terminates your AOL account. The last line of defense

against people who are out of line is the chat room host or guide.

Frequently a host or guide comes in the room. If someone gets out of

hand, the host has the power to gag the person for 15, 20, or 30

minutes. Gag means to completely remove all the person’s text in the

room so no one sees it. Three gags in a day is TOS warning.

I would say that, in my experience, the chat room is a good place

to be. I have made many friends and have met people from all over.

I have enjoyed the chat room, and probably will continue to enjoy it

for the rest of my life.


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