Remember chat rooms?

I keep wondering where social media is going.  I remember my first experience with social media.  It was 1997 we bought a computer and set it up at the kitchen table.  We started participating in the online discussion by going into online “cafe’s” or chat rooms. It was wild.  No matter what your interest, you could find people with that same interest in a chat room.  I couldn’t believe that people were chatting online by typing.  You could chat any time you liked, all day, any day.  Once you turned on your computer, you could get instant interaction.  For two weeks I was addicted. 

The chat room phase wore off on me as quickly as it started because the discussion was so fragmented and it served no real purpose for me. There was no connection with these people.  It was like having the sensation of feeling alone in a room full of people. 

Then came instant messaging.  This was fun until you realized that every time you signed on you were obligated to respond to greeting messages from every person who sent you a message.  Then six hours would go by on a Saturday when you realize you haven’t eaten or showered yet. 

The funniest moment for me is when we got a video camera to video conference with our family in another state.   For the first couple of days we would try it out with random people in video chat rooms.  I would get up, get all prettied up to go on the computer and figure this out.  Until one day when an unwelcome guest joined our chat room who was alone, quite naked and having a grand old time all by himself.  Did you ever notice the people who probably should NOT be naked are those who are most proud to be? That put an abrupt end to that video chat experience.

The instant messenger phase has passed. I don’t even know if anyone still uses AOL.  I haven’t heard or thought about the idea of a “chat room” in years.  I wonder if anyone goes in them anymore.   

So now we are all blogging, tweeting, “friending” and this seems so normal.  In 10 years will we say – “I wonder if anyone even tweets anymore!  Remember blogging?” Inevitably some young ditzy person will come up to you and say, “What’s blogging?”


Filed under adult education, No Adult Left Behind

2 responses to “Remember chat rooms?

  1. Cool blast from the past Alicia! I remember the AOL chat rooms. To answer your question, I think tweeting will become a thing of the past before blogs do. Blogging will probably exist in one format or another.

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