Do you know how to chat online?
Most if not all of you are quite familiar with using the computer in numerous ways for all kinds of tasks. You may already do plenty of instant messaging and text messaging. But do you really know how to chat online?
How are your communication skills using online chat options? Even if you know how to chat online, do you even use this awesome feature?
Did you know you can save bundles of money using one or more of any number of venues where you can chat online? Did you know it's free? Did you know you can decrease your cell or mobile phone bills significantly with online chat?
What about the land-line? With Clearwire, Comcast, Cox Cable or some other broadband connection, do you really need a home telephone at all? The answer is no.
Broadband offers faster speeds than dial-up, hence increasing the quality on your chat online. You can disconnect that land-line and greatly increase your internet speed with broadband internet access. Why not save money on some of these unnecessary expenses and increase your internet speed at the same time?
Maybe you'd like to save money on your cell phone bill by decreasing that 1,500 or 3,000 minute plan. You can if you want by using the internet to chat online.
That's what we're going to suggest in this article. I want to share with you how to chat online and save money in the process.
Things You'll Need
- internet connection
- web cam
- instant messaging or chat application
Download Google Talk, Skype, Yahoo Instant Messenger or MSN Live, a Microsoft program, from the internet. All these are great for international communication as well as local. On most if not all these Instant Messaging sites, you can even reserve a domestic phone number and make phone calls from your computer for a small fee. All you do is go to the appropriate web site and download the application. Choose a handle and a password and you're done. That was easy!
Oh - by the way - I'd recommend that if you plan to download the chat application from more than one site, use the same handle/login info for all of them. Otherwise you can become very confused very quickly.
If you don't already have them, go out and purchase a headset and web cam. They run about $10 to $50 each, depending upon the brand and features. Most office supply stores, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Walmart and even mom and pop computer stores carry them. You can also order them online. Some sites recommended by a good friend are newegg.com and amazon.com. My friend seems to be quite knowledgeable in this regard, so I'd listen to him on this :). He prefers the online resellers over some of the traditional retailers, in fact. He particularly mentioned a "big box" retailer as having inferior quality and high prices. He also points out you can go to resellerratings.com to get some feedback regarding certain seller sites.
Wherever you decide to purchase, watch the prices. Unless you really need all those cool features some of them are trying to sell you, save money and buy the more basic models. Logitech was a good choice for a web cam in my case, and they were relatively inexpensive. Most even offer integrated microphones.
Even if your computer has speakers and your web cam has an integrated microphone, I'd still recommend a headset for both speaking and listening; it's so much more private. Of course, if your computer has a built-in web cam, you won't need to purchase one at all.
Add your contacts with whom you want to chat online. Very simple. Just find the area where you can add contacts and enter your family member or friend's email address. Then send them an invitation to join you, whether on Google Talk, Skype, Yahoo, MSN, Windows Live or wherever. You have tons of options in this regard.
I chatted quite often with my (then) fiancee, now my wife, in The Philippines. International chats can be tricky. Often the quality is compromised by the internet connection on the other end. In my particular situation, the quality of the chat connection seems so much better, with fewer disconnects, frozen web cam issues and better sound quality using Skype and Yahoo.
Tips & Warnings
- Choose a quiet time and a private spot to chat online.
- Consider the time zone differences if applicable.
- Try to remember: They can see you. Groom yourself.
- Avoid requests for contact info from strangers
- Beware of scam artists
- Copyright 2009 Rufus Surles. All rights reserved. Permission to link back to this article in its original form granted.
- Photo Credit Do you know how to chat?