All of LOP should be appreciated! I understand the frustration with some drama spilling over to the forum, but that is not all that chat is about. I've seen numerous posts in the forum saying "I'll NEVER do chat", "Chat is ALL drama", "Chat is for the forum rejects", etc. We are all on LOP for different reasons, but the point is still the same. LOP is awesome!! I have met some of the most real, genuine, down-to-earth people here and I am so blessed to have been brought here. It saddens me to see that some are not willing to give this special little nook in our forum a chance. I would love to see some of the important conversations that are had on the forum put into the real-time environment that chat provides. In order to help aid this effort, I feel it is important to debunk some common myths.
Myth #1 - You have to have a camera and/or a microphone to be in chat.
Chat can be accessed without either of these instruments. One can come into the room and use their keyboard the entire time! Cameras and microphones are just an added feature that allow members to see and hear one another's reactions, tone, etc. which are harder to read through text. There are settings in place that allow you to block certain members from seeing your camera if you choose to use them. You can also block another's messages completely. No one is required to use the microphone or camera! Also, one feature many users don't know about is a private camera feature. This allows users to cam with one other member in a private message environment (think Skype). Other users will not see, or hear your conversation with this tool. If you would like to know how to use these features, feel free to ask a moderator, or myself, and we will gladly guide you through it!
Myth #2 - Chat is ALL drama!
Chat is great fun! Having the real-time experience shows people's true colors. You can really get a feel for people's wit, humor, and intelligence this way. It's a great tool to really get to know your fellow LOP'ers!
As far as events go, we've had a few "hat nights", including tin-foil hat contests! We've also done karaoke! Personally, it has been a great "social outing" that I can participate in on my own terms (ie. I can come and go freely). Got ideas for an event? Share them!
Myth #3 - Chat is for forum rejects.
We have many regular members in the chat who are also regular posters on the forum. It's not uncommon for some to post links from a thread into the chat room. This helps spark conversations and gather ideas. This could be considered a "behind the scenes" conversation of chat member's threads!
Myth #4 - Chat is just a clique.
Anyone and everyone is warmly welcomed into the chat. It is not uncommon for users to say hello to someone who has just entered. Occasionally though, there is a deep conversation taking place, and someone entering the room may be overlooked. Please don't take this personally. Just jump on in and say hi! We're excited to bring new viewpoints into the mix!
Myth #5 - Chat is full of potheads and drunks.
Sure, there are many LOP'ers (not only in chat) who are marijuana or alcohol enthusiasts, but chat is not an inebriation fest! Not all chat members are users of these substances, but if you want to have a beer with another member, this is a great place to do so! Chat welcomes all members, including those under the influence. But, if belligerence is an issue, the moderators will issue due force (warnings, etc) when necessary.
Myth #6 - Only perverts view cams.
This is where your "block viewer" feature will come into play. If a member is "lurking" on your camera, making unwanted advances towards you, or if you are just creeped out by a member, feel free to block them from viewing! Mods take harassment seriously! If someone is bothering you beyond what you are comfortable with, and you have already made it clear to them, let a mod know! They will issue due force when necessary.
Myth #7 - Chat is full of trolls who talk sh*t.
No chat room (or forum for that matter) is immune to trolling every now and again. Trolling will not be tolerated. But, that being said, please have a sense of humor in the room. We make jokes regularly and have a "mixing pot" of humor. If you are offended by someone's humor, there is a handy block feature, as previously mentioned.
Myth #8 - Everyone who uses chat is depressed and/or lonely.
The chat room is basically an extension of the forum. Not everyone on the internet is depressed and/or lonely. Of course, people occasionally have a bad day (Who doesn't?), and they come to LOP for advice. It happens on the forum, too! If you'd rather not hear about their personal issues, there comes in that handy block feature, again!
The point of making this thread was to inform LOP'ers of things which they may have been previously unaware. I really hope this post changes a few opinions about the goings on in chat. There are many people on the forum whom I would love to see join in, at least once in a while. So give chat a chance!
If you have any questions about chat that you would rather not post here, feel free to PM me and I will try my best to answer them. If I am unable to help, I will try to forward you to someone who can.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.