Chat rooms were popularised in the 1990s when the Internet became more widely accessible to families and households. Chat rooms connect many people to one messaging server for instant communication. Chat rooms have been shown to have many benefits to different people since their inception.
Social and Entertainment Benefits
At any given time, it is possible to find chat rooms on just about any subject. Chat rooms provide relaxed discussion in a stress-free, anonymous environment. With chat rooms, a person can find people all over the world to discuss subjects without being judged on how they look. A well-moderated chat room (a chat room with someone watching over the conversation and halting any harassment) is a great way for individuals to connect without fear and let their beliefs be discussed openly.
In academic circles, the chat room has been a way of creating study groups without the hassle of actually getting together. With just a computer with an Internet connection, entire classes can meet in a chat while sharing notes, discussing topics and giving opinions the may have held back in class for lack of time or candour. Many college professors, such as a few at Colorado State college, even assign a chat room session as a part of the class syllabus.
Medical Support Groups
In the medical field, chat rooms are being used as tools for supporting social interaction between individuals with disabilities that prevent other types of interaction. Once example is a chat room designed for people with hearing impairments. These chat rooms create a support group where users can trade stories and share advice and insights, which may have been difficult without a chat room. A chat room offers these individuals a chance to discuss issues openly and informally. Chat rooms are also a forum for the users to trade advice on resources in their community.
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