The instant messanger has revolutionized the way we talk to people, our parents, our friends, our children. It only makes sense that it would also have a profound impact on our love lives as well. Used properly, the instant messenger can allow you to talk to prospective mates online before meeting in person, to get that awkward first conversation out of the way and to make further plans with them. The instant messanger is more anonymous than a phone number but more personal than email. There are some guidelines in using instant messengers to communicate with a potential date in order to avoid any pitfalls.
The instant messanger must be used correctly in online matchmaking if it is going to be used effectively. The first step is to, obviously, download an instant messenger program. You have several to choose from and most of them are free. Companies providing instant messengers include America Online, Gadu-Gadu, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN, Trillian, and Yahoo. For reasons I will tell you shortly, it might be wise for you to have a separate account and user name to give people when you are first starting out online.
I already said how instant messengers can be utilized for online matchmaking purposes, but for the uninitiated, the instant messenger can be a handful of trouble. For one, people have handles, or user names, so if you are juggling more than one love interest at the same time, you need to keep track of which person is which username. It won't always be obvious.
That, however, is a relatively minor concern compared to what else is lurking out there is cyber space. The first and most important thing is to never use a real name or address in your directory profile. Anyone can look up the directory information and have your name, phone number and maybe even address if you put it out there. So don't do it. You are not required to do it by any company. This way, your information stays confidential. In a related topic, don't use your real name in your handle or screen name, choose something very different. If you must use your name use only your first name, that way you are protected from potential stalkers and other crazy people.
Speaking of crazy people, I suggested earlier that you get at least two instant messenger accounts and keep your friends and family separate from your online matches. The reason for this is that people can spy relatively easily on instant messanger facilitated conversations. Instant messaging monitoring is a very scary reality. For just twenty dollars, any creep out there can download software like Net.Chat.Spy and, from his or her computer, without knowing anything about you other than your handle or username, monitor all your online chatting.
Stunningly, the software that allows for instant messaging monitoring is not neither illegal nor expensive and you must protect yourself from people out there who would try and take advantage. So the point is that you can use instant messaging to facilitate your dating life, and it is a great tool for that, but you also must go to great pains to protect yourself from online predators.