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t r i b u n e . o n l i n e
the students' voice

Ping? PONG!

You've downloaded and installed the program, mIRC. You're online and connected to the chat server. You've entered a chatroom, say #RGS. You discover that there are more boys than girls there. Worse still, the boys aren't even from RGS. Never mind, that's not what you're into anyway (boys, that is). So what do you do now?

Um, chat.

Normally, after saying 'Hi!' many times, a very generous member of the chatroom will go, 'Hi! Intro?'. This is a shortcut for saying 'Introduction please?' and is also your cue to divulge all personal information, statistics, and past criminal records that will make the person happy. While anybody in the right frame of mind would probably think twice about entrusting his/her name, address and IC number to a stranger, common sense and logic do not apply in the online world. Doing just so, is, in fact, in perfect accordance with the motto of IRC, 'Anonimity is not good, although it was supposed to be.'

After that, you are expected to continue a normal conversation with the person, then become life friends with him/her/it although you have never met the person before and probably never will. While this might sound like a meaningless way to spend time, the vast plethora of online personalities you encounter will ensure that you have a relatively fun time while you're at it.

For example, if your nickname were 'Girl', here is an example of a typical exchange you might have with other people.

girl> Hello HoTbAbE! My, what an interesting nickname you have! From your nickname, I deduce that you are a socially responsible person and a friendly Singaporean whom I would like very much to make friends with.

HoTbAbE> ... wateva, aniwae, cum 2 mi chatroomz, u can haf a lot of fun therez! =)

girl> Oh yes, jolly good! It is nice to know that you are keeping up with the times by having useful IT skills, such as setting up a chatroom. Pray tell what I have to type to get there!


girl> ... goodbye.

This illustrates the second motto in IRC, 'If you can help it, always spell things wrongly; and if you can't, 'z' can never go wrong as a suffixz.' Meeting interesting types of netlife like this one is actually quite rare. A more accurate representation of the average situation is portrayed in the following.

girl> (having learnt a bit more net lingo) Hi! Intro?

*Spice*Gal> 15/f, intro?

girl> 15/f too! isn't this exciting! what class are you in?

*Spice*Gal> ... ur not a boi?

girl> ... well, maybe not, especially since my nickname is 'girl'.

[many hours pass.]

girl> hello? *Spice*Gal?




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