Introduction & Emoticon Glossary
Copyright, all rights reserved 12-4-98
"If a book comes from the heart it will contrive to reach other hearts."
| It's turning
the way people develop relationships inside out. All you need is
a personal computer, an Internet service, and the ability to jump into
a chat room conversation and you have just entered Chatville; a place where
people find each other, connect, and even go on to meet each other in the
What makes this new medium a major phenomenon is that on-line chatters can actually experience the beginnings of a personal relationship long before they meet each other face to face. Here, the normal barriers and customs that are a part of the commonly accepted rituals of dating are no longer applicable.
In Chatville, two minds can connect within moments of first contact. The result can take the form of anything from heart pounding experiences of "cyber sex" to the sharing of one's deepest thoughts, dreams, and views of life. All of this, while at the same time, never seeing or knowing who it is you are really talking to.
As vast numbers of "newbies" install different Internet versions into their computers everyday, it is becoming more and more obvious that this new medium is going to initiate fundamental changes in our culture. It is here and, for better or for worse, we are going to have to deal with it.
My in-depth exploration of the world of "chat" turned out to be an amazing and challenging journey into the world of cyber space. After making countless connections and conducting numerous interviews, it became obvious to me that what was supposed to be a simple interactive mode of entertainment was indeed spilling back into the real world. Chance meetings in chat rooms are turning into full-blown real life relationships.
Of course, there is that side of this thing that deserves some serious caution. From time to time the television news broadcasts remind us that there are predators who use this same medium to seduce and abuse their victims. Furthermore, no one who is savvy to this venue will dispute it's negative impact on real life relationships. Yet, there is validity in the argument that the majority of those same relationships were already deeply in trouble long before one or both of the people involved found their way into Chatville.
On the other hand, there are many examples of those who have found true and abiding love while surfing through various chat rooms. There are even more cases of those who have found a sense of community and belonging upon finding a group of "regulars" who congregate in certain rooms at the same time each day. Still others have found a wonderful way to interact with others who have similar interests spanning the extremes from sex to religion and everything in between.
The stories in this book are all based on fact. Each character is based on a chatter I have met and interviewed. Although the stories are fictitious, they are filled with all of the elements that make Chatville such an interesting place to visit.
If you have already experienced the medium, you will, no doubt, be entertained by the reading of this book. Perhaps you will recognize a number of the characters as being much like those you have met in your walk down the streets of this fast growing cyber community.
For those who have not yet "logged-on," perhaps, upon finishing this book, you will have a better understanding of this brave new world that welcomes thousands of new chatters everyday. In fact, you might even want to try the experience yourself. If you do, be warned. It is highly addictive and hardly recommended for the faint of heart. In truth, be sure to guard your heart while touring Chatville. There may be someone already there who will attempt to steal it away from you.
– Vincent Mason
TaleSpinner: yes, it's well on it's way <s>
SoulToucher: What's it about
TaleSpinner: the world of chat
SoulToucher: Have you got a title for it yet
SoulToucher: Sounds like a winner <s>
TaleSpinner: i sure hope so <s>
SoulToucher: Well, then, spin a tale for us, Mr. TaleSpinner
| The citizens of Chatville have developed their
own language for communicating their emotions while chatting. The
ability to show expression while in chat not only adds life to the discussions,
but also avoids the potential for misunderstanding when teasing or using
The "emoticons" below are used in this book.
<S> big smile
:-) or [-: sideway face smiles
<g> big grin
X big kiss
(response or indication of a revealed thought)
ALL CAPITAL LETTERS - yelling