Parents and Free Teenage Chat Rooms

Opinion: Here ye, hear ye, the following is only opinion. Every effort has been made to avoid pointing a finger at any particular company or organization in relation to 'free teenage chat rooms.' Read, think, research, and form your own opinions. They on occasion scare me silly.

Just about every teenage chat home page I have seen has had advertisements for adult singles chat and/or sex chat! It seems that people are seeking the almighty dollar despite the consequences to family structure or the teens themselves.

In the defense of the free teenage chat rooms, I must say that there is usually some description of suitable behavior for the website.

I have frequently seen such statements as:

• Never give out personal information about yourself such as real name, home address or phone number

• Keep your private information private

• Treat others with respect

• Please respect all others in the chat

• Please Do Not flood the screen with your text

• Please don't fight with others

I hope there are more in depth limitations elsewhere on the site.

The following are two comments posted on one of the free teenage chat rooms I visited (I have eliminated the names):

• "I must say you have the best looking guys out there for online dating. I really like how your website makes it really easy to find single guys my age."

• "... (this site) does work, and I would not have met my girlfriend if it wasn't for XXXXX. So don't give up hope. It really does work. I have the best girlfriend in the world now. She and I have been dating for two months."

One search page result had a paid advertisement on the right hand side that indicated 'teen chat rooms free.' It listed a direct telephone number with area code. It was not an 800 number, and the participants had to be over 18.

On the home page of another teen chat site, I found six links to other chat rooms. Of the six chat room links listed on this particular page: 1) the first was a link to a teen chat. The remainder of the links are listed below (in order):

2) Singles chat where you could talk, flirt, and meet new friends of all ages

3) Meet sexy local singles, a chat where you could date local singles in adult chat

4) Adult Chat (FREE) where you could meet and chat with sexy local singles

5) Adults chat, a free meeting place for ages 20 and up, and 'last but not least' is

6) Chat sites for teens, singles, and adults of all ages (The picture by this last link was a young woman's head shot. It was of her sucking on a strawberry while lying on her stomach on a bed!)

All I can say is wow! One out of six links listed was age appropriate.

There is no doubt that any chat site will encourage expression, interaction, and perhaps even creativity. Moreover, free teenage chat rooms are a very popular contact choice. Is there a balance between the expression of literary creativity and compulsion? You may want to look into computer and Internet access software that will help block some unwanted material.

Given that the Internet is global, teens engage in chat from all over the world. In addition to the free teenage chat rooms, there are all types of social groups for all kinds of people, including teenagers. Chat groups are tailored to specific groups of people, plus providing services to different lifestyles.

Some chat websites for teens have ages 13 to 19 targeted. I have seen others accept the ages of 12 to 19. Various free teenage chat rooms focus on the 16 to 19 year age group. A few of these teen chat sites boast about a worldwide group of teens aged 12 to 17 years of age. Except for the 16 to 19 age range, the other ranges seems somewhat suspect.

Free teenage chat rooms are generally monitored by moderators, but remember it is ultimately the responsibility of the chatter to chat safely. Chat Monitors in many free teenage chat rooms protect teens from unsuitable activities and some help to keep the chatter friendly. Rules enforced by moderators prohibit racial and abusive comments, harassment, foul language, and the giving out of personal information. Countless free teenage chat rooms report that the site is being moderated twenty-four hours a day. I hope so for the safety of the teen chatters.

Chat websites include the availability of user-created nicknames, and profiles detailing user interests. There are options to ignore specific users, buttons for common phrases; and what are called 'User Interactives' that allow such expression as "kiss," "hug," "slap" and "poke." Beyond the free teenage chat rooms are message boards, horoscopes, free arcades, jokes, and search-able user profiles. There is usually a help center, a list of teen slanted links with opportunities to invite friends to the chat site. Some, if not all, allow the chatters to send private messages (private messages?) or play games online. Of course, teens may also share via MySpace, Facebook, Friendster and a host of other social sites, which is another 'can of worms' for the parents.

Opinion: Here ye, hear ye, the following is only opinion. Every effort has been made to avoid pointing a finger at any particular company or organization. Read, think, research, and form your own opinions. That's it; that's all I know about free teenage chat rooms.