As we get older, our families may move away, leaving us to look for new ways to meet people and expand our social circles. While you can certainly go out and join groups that involve activities you enjoy or volunteer in order to make new friends, sometimes it’s difficult to meet new people. This is especially true if you no longer drive or live in an area where there aren’t many activities for seniors.
If this sounds like a situation you’re in right now, you may want to consider senior chat rooms. If you have a computer or a device with internet capability, senior chat rooms can serve as a portal to meeting new people who share your interests.
FYI: There’s far more to the internet than just chat rooms! Want to learn what you might be missing out on? Check out our guide to internet for seniors for tips on finding the best internet, improving your internet speeds, ways to stay safe online, and more.
What Are Senior Chat Rooms?
Chat rooms are online communities where people “talk” (message) to each other as frequently as they like. Senior chat rooms are online sites that cater to the senior crowd. These typically involve people over 50 and are not open to anyone younger. These are not to be confused with senior dating sites which are geared towards people looking for a relationship. Joining a senior chat room does not mean you are looking for a date or a romantic relationship. It simply means you are looking for ways to meet new people who share your interests.
Many times these chat rooms will have forums that are designated for special interests. You may be able to find a group for gardeners, fishers, or knitting enthusiasts. If you see a group labeled as such, you can join it and chat with others who share your interests. This can be a great way to meet other people and remain social. Besides meeting new people, senior chat rooms can help keep the mind active which can ward off medical issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you don’t have access to a computer of your own, many local libraries offer internet service that you can use to join these chat rooms.
Where Can I Find Senior Chat Rooms?
Simply go to Google and type in “senior chat rooms”. You’ll see a long list pop up. From here you can scroll through and find one that interests you. Besides discussing similar interests and hobbies, these chat rooms also address topics important to seniors such as healthcare, social security, budgeting, and general topics focused on senior living. Here’s a look at some of the most popular senior chat rooms today. All of them are geared towards people 50 and over who want to connect with their peers.
It’s important to know that while the chat rooms mentioned above are free, there are those that do charge a fee to join. If you find one of these that interests you, make sure you do your homework. Find out about all of the fees as well as the cancellation policy. Many times these types of chat rooms are not worth joining.
Things to Consider Before Joining a Chat Room
While chat rooms have their benefits, there are things to consider before clicking on that “join” button. As we all know the internet can become a breeding ground for predators and people who want to steal identities and harm others. You need to protect yourself so that you don’t become a victim. Here are some tips:
- Don’t give out personal information like your address or phone number. Although people may seem innocent, sometimes you just never know. By limiting your access to a person through solely a chat room, you can control how much contact you have with them.
- Never give out financial information. Not only should you not give this out voluntarily, you should be suspicious if someone you just met in a chat room starts asking about your finances. That is a private matter; one that should never be discussed in a chat room.
- If you decide to meet in person, choose a public place. If you become friends with someone in a chat room who lives nearby, opportunities to meet in person may arise. If this does happen, be sure to meet in a public place and try to have someone with you. This goes back to the fact that you never know these days. Someone may seem one way online but act totally different in person. It’s best to protect yourself by meeting in a public place with plenty of people around.
- Don’t open up attachments or links from people you don’t know. If someone in a chat room sends you a link or attachment they insist you open, don’t. The attachment could contain a virus that tries to obtain your personal information. The link may redirect you to a site that could also be dangerous for your computer or could link to inappropriate content.
It all comes down to using common sense when you’re in a chat room. The same rules apply in a chat room as in any other online activity. Another thing to keep in mind is that while many of these sites do their best to screen members and make sure everyone is who they say they are, there are always those who try to sneak in for the wrong reasons. Be aware of this possibility and remain vigilant at all times. There are those who use chat rooms to prey on seniors. Don’t become a victim.
If you stay smart and aware while online, chat rooms can be a wonderful way to meet new people who share the same interests as you.