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I've decided it's high time a page be put in place that truly defines the netiquette of chatting. It's become painfully obvious to many of us that some folks just don't got no sense. And I'm being nice here. If you want to chat and not look like a total loser, newbie or suckhole, follow these simple rules and you'll be chatting like a pro. Keep in mind, some of you are just going to be lame no matter if you follow the rules or not, but at least you'll be making an effort. This page is a collection of thoughts and insights of those of us who've been at this a long time. Follow the rules, and you'll be cool too. Unless you're a snert, in which case there's just no hope for you because you'll suck regardless.

Okay, here we go.....pay attention now, this could be the difference between lasting friendships online with really cool people, or a life relegated to wandering from room to room with people mocking you.

1.)Never ask for stats ~ Okay, I know most of you are thinking hey, that's common sense, no one does that but trust me, there are plenty of people out there who actually think it's cool. Go figure. If one thing is going to scream newbie in a chat room, this is it. It's rude, it's annoying, it's shallow and it makes you look like a moron. PS This includes asking what someone is wearing, whether they're hot or not etc.

2.)Never ask for sex ~ Let's be real here. Would you walk up to someone on the street and ask them that? Of course not. Either that or you have and have been arrested, in which case you're just a sicko and shouldn't be amongst regular humans.

3.)Don't use that goofy shortened chat talk ~ ie. howru, or good 2 see you. It looks stupid and therefore makes you look stupid, despite your thinking it's chique and cool. It isn't, it just makes you look 16. If you are 16, live it up.

4.)Keep it simple, stupid ~ Your chat handle is a direct reflection of yourself, unless you're just dicking around and want to annoy people. Don't use giant fonts, don't attach a stupid picture with it that just slows down the room and makes it annoying to chat. It's not cool, really.

5.)Don't be a Manson Family Groupie ~ As cozy as it might seem to you to start referring to your online friends as aunt's, uncles, sisters and brothers etc...it's actually really creepy and sounds ridiculous. Again, you also give the appearance to others that you've got an IQ of 6 or less, either that or you're 12. Don't do it, it's stupid.

6.)Pay attention! ~ Read the handle of the person you're about to talk to before you ask them if they're a he or a she. If it says something like peachy (16f), you can safely assume you're talking to a 16 year old female. Yes? Asking them their age and sex in the face of such obvious evidence makes you look like a moron.

7.)Avoid handles that are obvious lies ~ For example, don't make your handle "Skinny & Sporty" if you're obviously not. If you're fat and ugly, you just are and a handle saying otherwise won't change that. Pick something honest, cause believe me, your picture WILL get out there one day, and then we'll laugh at you. I've seen some pretty outrageous lies for handles and they always get caught.

8.)For God's sakes, no giggling ~ This is easily one of the absolutely most annoying things I've seen uttered in chat. A grown woman, or man (shudder), sitting there...giggling. I mean please, you can't possibly sit around in your day to day life giggling like a monkey and actually thinking it makes you endearing to those around you, or just a cute chick or sensitive guy. I cannot emphasize how quickly one giggle can take you from being a cool chatter and into the realm of those people you wouldn't touch with a stick. Think about it, do we hang with imbeciles who giggle in real life? No, we write them off as brain dead and go on our way. Just don't do it, really.

9.)Some have it, some do not ~ Okay, here's the thing. There are many of you out there that think you can get into a war of words with someone and actually win. Here's a news flash, you're probably not one of them. Under no circumstances should you attempt to get into a battle of wits if you're completely unarmed. You will end up humiliated and your ignorance will be laid bare to all in the room, and you will be left slinking off, licking your wounds, never to recover from the beating you've just taken. It's okay if you're not that quick off the draw, and it's much better to just admit it than sit there and get taken to school in front of all your friends.

10.)Lighten Up ~ This is very important. Read it once, then read it again, then commit it to memory. You are in a chat room. (moment of silence) Threatening to beat someone up and things of that nature look really stupid, unless you're doing it in fun. Taking offense to someone goofing around in the room, especially when they aren't even talking to you, is ridiculous. If someone calls you ugly and you get all weepy and offended, you look way more stupid than they do. I mean, can they see you? Don't bring your so called high moral standards into chat and expect everyone else to follow suit just because you've decided being self righteous makes you look mature. It doesn't. It makes you look like you're incapable of drawing a line between real life and net life. For the sake of everyone else in chat, every once in awhile, just reach out and touch that monitor, remember where you are and try and have some fun.

11.)A Word On The Caps Lock Key ~ The word is this, don't. Don't ever use it, pretend your keyboard came without one. In chat land, all caps signifies that you are shouting loudly..so imagine how annoying when every post you send is so loud and invasive to our quiet happy place. Do us all a favour, give up small man's syndrome and lay off that key. You don't need to shout to be heard. Besides, we're reading anyways.

12.)Crybabies, Whiners and Sucks ~ We've all seen them, those people in chat who sit there and mope and cry and whine. "Why isn't anyone chatting to meeeeee???" "Fine, I'll just sit here in the corner by myself." "*sniff sniff* Guess no one wants to talk to me." There's a million variations on that theme. I rank these people right up there with snerts. They are irritating little pests. Doing that in a chat room will get you ignored just as fast as asking for stats. Here's what you do, crybabies. Go into a room, watch the chat flow, see what's being talked about, and if you have anything to add, let 'er fly. If not, keep your yap shut.

13.)That Pesky PW Option ~ Okay, this is easy. The whole point of privately whispering to someone (PW), is so that no one else can see what you have to say. So, in that light, why the hell would you use that option, and send it to the whole freaking room?! You couldn't look any more stupid if you tried, really.

Well that's what we've come up with so far. My thanks to Sis and DC for their input. If you wish to see something added to this list, or you want to send me mean email because you do all those things and still think you're cool, then just contact me via email and let me know. I'm sure I'll weigh all criticism with much fairness and thought. *snicker*

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