Friday, November 25, 2011

The old chat room

Back in 1998 when we got our first computer, I had read and heard plenty about the dangers of chat rooms; I swore that nobody would catch me entering such a cyber-trap.  
But of course, my curiosity got the best of me, and I cautiously clicked into an AOL chat.  The words were scrolling up the screen so fast it was impossible to read them all, and half of what I saw there was foul language and links to porn sites.  I clicked out quickly.   
One day I found myself reading an article on an AOL Christian community website when I noticed there were some chat rooms associated with the site.  I clicked into a couple of them and saw some actual conversations scrolling up the screen.  One was for women, one for men... I forget the various chats that were there, but one was "Christians 50+".  
There weren't a lot of people using that chat during most of the day.  Early in the morning it was pretty much the same cozy group, and we'd wake up together with coffee and pleasant conversation.  In the evening things got hectic in the chat room, and troublemakers sometimes showed up; but our morning chats were great.  
Thinking back, I realize how many of my old friends from the room have died.  
After the chat room disintegrated into chaos, I still kept in touch with several of my favorite people.  I don't do live chats or IM's these days, but I do have Facebook conversations with some of them.  
One of my old chat friends is Lori, who lives in Louisiana.  She is responsible for this stroll down memory lane.  Lori wasn't fifty-plus years old, but she hung out in the chat room with us seniors quite a bit.  Back then she had one little boy named Danny who was four years old.  She was, I believe, the same age as my daughter.  
This morning Lori posted a picture of Danny on Facebook.  He's seventeen, and all grown up.  I asked her, "Who stole your little boy and replaced him with a man?"  
I wouldn't take anything for my pleasant chat room memories.


darev2005 said...

We got into some pretty crazy chat rooms early in our internet days too. But that was back when all of my fingers worked and i could type almost as fast as i could think. Not any more. Now I chat by email. Much easier on my hands and brain.

Sonya said...

I think that is nice that you had that experience. I had similar experience with the graphic groups which we sent out graphics to one another in emails but often would email - like we were chatting. Who ever was on AOL at the time. AOL was a real community back then! It was neat!

Margaret said...

Ah, you bring back memories of AOL(my first on-line service) and the chat rooms, which I originally kind of liked and then, as you said, they got vile. So,I drifted to other things.


I was in soap opera or political chats. Fond memories. Time flies when we are not looking. Glad you were able to reconnect with an old friend.

Kathy said...

I used to love the chat rooms ... but sometimes I'd sit quietly and just follow the conversation after my initial 'hello' because things would easily get out of hand when someone was riled up about something. :)

Nice memories, though.

Julia said...

I remember one chat room that i loved - it was for debating. The moderator would throw out a topic or current even and off we'd go. It was heavily moderated and anyone out of control was instantly ejected - we had some pretty intense conversations and most nights it gave you plenty to think about.

DesLily said...

we must have come on aol near the same times... i looked into chatrooms also.. but didn't stay long.. then I found a once a week chat on books..the kind I read back then! that was a great chat room.. here we are about 14 yrs later and like you I am still in contact with a few of those people! It's an amazing thing these computers!

Anonymous said...

I had a very much the same thing, but after 3 years of chatting to one guy , wemet up but what a sad misstake m he was just a huge tall tale trickster,Allt00ledup.