Advantages & Disadvantages of Chatting on the Internet

By Jessica Broadmoor

Chatting on the Internet comes in many forms. You can have one-on-one chatting via instant messaging software. You can also have group discussions via a chat room or a forum. However, as with anything, you can find advantages and disadvantages to having Internet chats.

Expense

You can find it less expensive to chat over the Internet than to make a long distance call. This makes Internet chatting an attractive option if you live far away from family and friends, or you are on a budget.

Multitasking

You can complete other tasks while chatting over the Internet. For example, you can read and reply to emails, finish typing a document, or have a conversation with someone who is in the room. This can be an advantage if you are busy and don't have much time for personal chatting. This can also be a disadvantage because you aren't giving the other person or task your full attention.

Time Management

Because you can multitask while chatting on the Internet, it can become easy to lose track of time. You can end up chatting longer than you intended to, which can make it difficult to complete other tasks.

Communication Barriers

The intent of someone's remarks can be hard to determine over the Internet. It's easy for you to seem offensive when chatting on the Internet because the person on the other end cannot see your face or hear your tone of voice. Therefore, you have to be very careful with the way you word things.

Dangers

If you chat with strangers over the Internet, you can open yourself to predators. People can lie about who they are in an effort to hurt you in some way. Your conversations can also be saved, which can come back to haunt you if someone has bad intentions. According to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, you should be careful about what you reveal unless you are certain of who the person on the other end of the chat is. The US-CERT also recommends updating your security settings to protect yourself from a software attack from a malicious user.