The internet is probably the most loved invention in the present time. Who would have thought that with the use of internet technology, people around the globe can access information whenever and wherever they want it. The topics and services are endless! This would also include accessing help and support for mental health problems.
Gone are the days that mental health issues are considered the back room topics. There is much empowerment going on, both in the government and private sectors, to discuss more mental health concerns. One way to encourage people to be more open about their mental health conditions is to engage in community online chat.
Benefits and consequences
Chat rooms offer the blissfulness of being anonymous wherein you can tell all your problems and concerns without being fearful or getting anxious that people will ridicule you along the way. Now, I’m not saying that online chat does not impart negative communication. In fact, there are higher chances of getting bullied online than in real life because the chatters are not known to each other. However, the beauty of getting into an online chat room allows you to release that overwhelming feeling in your chest. You can share it with the rest of the participants who are also experiencing the same emotions or turbulence just like yourself. You will be able to learn from their perspectives by looking into their lives on how they cope or evolve with the treatment or spiral down into an abyss of hopelessness and despair if the person does not respond to treatment and support anymore.
The danger of chat rooms sometimes erodes the main essence to which it was created. There are certain individuals called “trolls” whose number one motive is to wreck havoc into the conversation. Basically, the trolls just want to irritate everybody in the chat room. Some experts suggest that you should not entertain them because the more you reply to them, the more they are encouraged to retaliate. Others also believe that you should respond to their comments with a more objective and nonchalantly message to let them know that you don’t take them seriously enough.
What you should need to know
For the millennials, registering in a chat room is very easy. To those who have limited knowledge and skill about this web technology, it is important that you should know the basics and the critical points of chat room activities.
- Upon registration, never give out your full personal information. You can use aliases or name of your favorite cartoon or movie character. Be unique without giving away certain clues about who you are. Do away with placing a number after your name, like JasonBourne75. Yes, it’s a random number. Although, it can create speculations from other members like this is the year you were born, or this will place you at 41 years old in the year 2017.
- Just like your name, never use personal images for your photo. Some chat rooms require uploading your photo. If this is the case, you can choose from their suggested avatars, or you can upload fictional photos as well. Do not use photos of your friends and family members as this can be seen and accessed by many netizens.
- In chatting, it is always good to use good manners with correct grammar and spelling in typing your sentences. Prevent yourself from being rude or engage in a rough discussion with someone else.
- Whenever someone asked you to see each other in person, after chatting for a long period of time, make sure that you are with someone you know to ensure your safety.
- Always save a room of reservation for yourself. Chat rooms are new avenues for communication. The essence of trusting someone you only met online thru an anonymous chat is still not very much encouraged.
Chat rooms are lively to engage with. Somehow, it diverts your attention away from your current problem because you are chatting with someone. You are trying to socialize in the comfort of your anonymity. If this is helping you by keeping your mental health issues at bay, you may continue as long as you are not overdoing it and harming anyone and yourself along the way.