Chat online means any kind of communication over the Internet which is a real-time transmission of data from one end to another. ‘Real-time communications (RTC)’ is a mode of telecommunications in which users can share information on the instant or with minimal delay depending on the speed of internet. So the term “real-time” is synonymous to “live.” Thus online chatting provides us the opportunity of live conversation as like we are talking with our counterparts in face to face situation, while being at the distant places.
Chat messages are composed in short form in order to send it and receive the response quickly from the receiver. Thus a feeling direct conversation is created among the chatters. And this feature distinguishes Online chatting from other type text-based online communication like Internet forums and email.
In case of email, bulletin board or blogging, we’re communicating in time shifting mode, not in real-time mode. There is a time lag between the transmission and the receipt of the message. Chat online may be ‘Peer-to-Peer’ communications as well as ‘Multicast communications’ (also known as synchronous conferencing) from one sender to many receivers and voice and live chat, or may be a web conferencing service (enabled with webcams).
Online Chat uses tools such as instant messengers, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), talkers and possibly MUDs. Chat online based on web-based application software that allows communication. Web conferencing is a more specific online service that is provided at a price, hosted on a web server controlled by the provider.
Talkomatic, is the first chat online system created by Doug Brown and David R. Woolley in 1973 on the PLATO System at the University of Illinois. It offered multiple channels, each of which could accommodate maximum five people. In this system messages appeared on all users’ screens in character-by-character as they were typed. Talkomatic was very popular among PLATO users until mid-1980s. Brown and Woolley released a new web-based version of Talkomatic in 2014.
Tom Walker and Fritz Thane of Dialcom, Inc. had created the first online system to use the actual command “chat” for The Source in 1979. Later in February 1989 the first transatlantic Internet chat took place between Oulu, Finland and Corvallis, Oregon.
The first widely available dedicated chat online service to the public was the CompuServe CB Simulator in 1980, created by Alexander “Sandy” Trevor in Columbus, Ohio.
However, there is criticism of chat online and text messaging that they replace standard English with shorthand or with an almost completely new hybrid language.
Writing is changing as it is becoming more informal and abbreviated to which all the online chatters are familiar with. Online chat rooms and real-time teleconferencing allow users to interact with anyone who remains on the web at that particular point of time. Yet, among the users present at that time, those who are in the ‘Buddy List” or the user has previously talked with, are shown in distinctive characters.
These virtual interactions provide us the opportunity in ‘talking’ more freely and more widely than ever before. As chat rooms provide the benefit of face-to-face conversations, it is necessary to be able to have quick conversation as if the person were present in front of us. Thus many people would learn to type as quickly as they would normally speak. Critics say that this informal form of speech is so widely used that once upon a time it will take over the common grammar.