How Do I Instant Message

How do I instant message, you ask? Well, you're not the only person who wants to know as instant messaging grows more popular. Truth is, it couldn't be easier.

Choosing An Instant Messenger Program
Though there are many options out there, the most popular instant messenger program is AOL Instant Messenger, more often referred to as AIM. It has managed to stay so popular because it has many user-friendly features. It can be installed in minutes so you can start chatting.

Screen Names
When learning how to instant message, you want to pick out your screen name that is unique, but not too out there, while at the same time making sure not to reveal too much information about yourself. Full Name/Social Security Number, for example, would not be an ideal choice because an identity thief can get a long way with that information. People will often pick out a hobby of theirs and follow it by a set of numbers either chosen at random or with some significance, such as the year they were born. Soccerboy1990 would be a good example.

Buddy List Or Contacts
Once you've chosen your screen name, it's time to learn how to set up your instant message Buddy List. This is your list of contacts you communicate and share information with. If you have a close friend who already has an account, most programs will let them send you their Buddy List. Just go through and delete the people you aren't interested in.

Profiles
In a profile, you post information about yourself, or quotes and phrases of significance to you. You never know who's going to be reading your profile, so keep in mind that you should not post anything too personal, or anything that you wouldn't want a stranger, your mom or potential employer seeing.

How Do Instant Messenger Using the Right Lingo?
Once all of these are complete, you are ready to start chatting. You'll notice quickly that the language used during instant messaging is different from the language used in the real world. Over the years, a lingo and set of slang specific only to the Internet has developed. It continues to evolve with new words and abbreviations being created and phased out every day. Guides are available on the Internet to help you crack this cyber code, but the most effective way to learn is to ask when you come across an unfamiliar phrase or acronym, and get a lot of practice.

Instant Messenger Safety
For a secure internet messenger experience, remember two rules: You never know if the person you're talking to is actually who she claims to be, and you never know if what you're typing is being saved. Don't say something you wouldn't want repeated to somebody else. Also, be cautious when talking to strangers. Many unsavory people take advantage of the inherent anonymity of the Internet, and they are untruthful about their identity or intentions. You wouldn't walk up to a stranger and start revealing personal information about yourself in the real world, and the Internet is no different.

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