Thereby, a feeling similar to a spoken conversation is created, which distinguishes chatting from other text-based online communication forms such as Internet forums and email.
Online chat may address point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers and voice and video chat, or may be a feature of a web conferencing service.
The first transatlantic Internet chat took place between Oulu, Finland and Corvallis, Oregon in February 1989.
This new literacy develops skills that may well be important to the labor market but are currently viewed with suspicion in the media and by educationalists.
Merchant also says "Younger people tend to be more adaptable than other sectors of society and, in general, quicker to adapt to new technology.
Internet chat rooms and rapid real-time teleconferencing allow users to interact with whoever happens to coexist in cyberspace.
These virtual interactions involve us in 'talking' more freely and more widely than ever before.
The first online chat system was called Talkomatic, created by Doug Brown and David R.
Woolley in 1973 on the PLATO System at the University of Illinois.
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Online chat includes web-based applications that allow communication – often directly addressed, but anonymous between users in a multi-user environment.
Web conferencing is a more specific online service, that is often sold as a service, hosted on a web server controlled by the vendor.
With chatrooms replacing many face-to-face conversations, it is necessary to be able to have quick conversation as if the person were present, so many people learn to type as quickly as they would normally speak.