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

Internet Relay Chat, or IRC, is a popular online activity which RGS students have taken to in recent times. Everybody has almost certainly come across it before, whether by personally indulging in it or by listening to friends' colourful tales. However, for the rare few who have absolutely no idea what IRC is - besides the fact that it involves talking to people online (which, incidentally, might not always be true) - Tribune attempts an accurate representation of what one might expect to uncover beneath the facade of the ubiquitous smiley face.

* girl has been kicked from #rgs *

Sometimes, people who are either very bored (or who don't know better) actually end up conducting a monologue with Q, the robot channel operator. But don't be discouraged! Although IRC may seem a waste of time, things can sometimes get pretty interesting.

girl> heehee! tell me again how much chest hair you have!

shuai-ge> A LOT, sumtimes i must sew up all the holes it makes in my shirt.

girl> heehee! but you don't need to wear shirts a lot do you?

shuai-ge> no, i'm on the waterpolo team rememberz? =)

girl> heehee! maybe we should meet?

shuai-ge> sure, but i haf 2 tell u sumting 1st

girl> heehee! wat? =)

shuai-ge> i'm a girl.

This snippet raises one of the many dangers of IRC. Many of the good, bad, and (especially) the ugly find the appeal of an anonymous identity too tempting to resist. Everybody has heard tales of swindling and being swindled on the net. Then again, shy or socially inept people might find it easier to make friends by typing. Imagine, BunnyBunz could very well turn out to be that weird, introverted girl in your class who spends recess burying barbie dolls in the ecogarden!

Another problem one might encounter is IRC addiction. Not only will that lead to soaring internet and phone bills, more importantly, addiction manifests itself in the form of neglected school work. And we all know what that leads

to, the bane of parents' and students' alike - falling grades and poor attention spans.

While spelling inefficiently (which, presumably, is meant to be cool) might be a norm for some, it really does affect a person's typing and writing after awhile, as Mrs. Shirley Tan pointed out to us at one assembly. Believe it or not, people can actually start talking in 'z's, which is quite mind-numbing if you think about it.

In the end, as the argument often goes, IRC is just a tool, either waiting to be constructively used or exploited for undesirable reasons.

Good luck to RGS.

by Joycelyn Yik

RGS Girls on IRC

"IRC is just another form of isolation, just another way to distance ourselves...plug out reality and ride on pretense"

-- anonymous

"It's pretty funny how people go to chatrooms and talk to the people they already know.

-- Amanda

"IRC? It's the MRT station for buayas and buayees - cheap thrills abound!"

-- anonymous

compiled by Nur Amira

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