This is very long, but hopefully very useful!
RYL is lucky enough to have a live chat function. This means that when you click the link to chat and enter a room, the chat happens in real time. This makes chat seem scary to new people, as the conversation is usually flowing fast and the new user has no idea who people are, what the buttons do, or anything else! This sometimes leads to them abandoning a really useful support tool because they feel too confused and overwhelmed. This guide has been put together to help new members understand how members in chat interact with each other, and how chat actually works.
1] Entering chat.
When you enter chat you’ll be chucked into room 1. From there you can decide where you want go based on how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling depressed and would like some support, try room 4. If you’re a bit sad but would like to chat about random things to distract yourself, try room 2.
2] Introducing yourself and getting your bearings.
Once you’re in a room, people will say hi. If they don’t it’s because they either missed you come in because the conversation is flowing fast, or they don’t know you. Don’t feel bad, this happens to all new members – even me, long before I was a mod. If you’re known around the forums, you will be known in chat by at least one person.
People who are regularly in chat will know each other by name, and will greet people they recognise by name. This may seem really intimidating, but they aren’t doing it to make you feel bad. Try and join in the conversation, don’t just sit there and expect someone to say “Hello <username”>. If you join in, people will get to know you faster, and if you keep coming into chat you’ll be greeted by name too. If you can’t just join in the conversation, feel free to type something like “Hi, I’m <name>, what’re you all talking about?” People will reply, and then carry on with the conversation. If you don’t wish to be called by your name, introduce yourself as your username instead!
Watch how people interact with each other in chat – conversations run quickly and turn from topic to topic quickly, so try and keep up. Chat doesn’t slow down, so if it’s going to fast for you it may not be the best thing for you.
3] How to get support.
When you’re in room 4, you’re understandably going to be feeling rubbish. However there are a few things you need to do to get support properly, quickly and efficiently. Introduce yourself if people don’t know you. Ask if people are free for support. Don’t be rude to people. Sometimes you’re angry and pissed off, but don’t take it out on the people who are trying to help. It you doesn’t help you and will make other members less likely to support you. Please also remember that everyone on RYL is here for a reason – we all struggle with mental health and we make mistakes. We’re human after all. Don’t get too annoyed if people ask questions to clarify what you are talking about, they’re trying to help.
If you want to rant but don’t want any advice, state this before saying what you have to say. That way people wont waste time in trying to advise you, and you won’t get any people trying to interfere.
Typing *cries in corner* or other such things generally gets peoples back up. They can’t help you because they don’t know what is going on, and if they’re in 4 they’re usually feeling rubbish themselves. Try a “I would like some support” or a variation of that. If they ask what about, try and expand on what you’re feeling right now.
Chat has a whisper function which means you can select a user, and you can talk to them privately out of site of the main room. This is great for talking to your friends, or having a one on one conversation. However, there are a few things you should know.
Most people don’t like being randomly pm’d. This is nothing to do with you personally, it’s more about the fact they don’t know you and it makes them uncomfortable. Ask whether anyone is free to pm. If no one takes up the offer, try asking the main room. People don’t bite!
Moderators are the people with green names. They can help you with any issues you have in chat, including people being rude or nasty to you. They make sure the appropriate topic is kept in each room, which means room 4 is completely serious and room 1 is completely general. Us moderators are no different from normal members – we all struggle with our mental health and from time to time we may even ask for some support. We are not dedicated to supporting people, we are not therapists or anything special. Arguing with us about rules isn’t really helpful – the rules are in place for a reason and we uphold them the best we can.
The rule most commonly broken in chat is the text type rule. Typing “lyk dis n stuff” is not acceptable. We have members here whose first language isn’t English, and they cannot understand this type of writing. Brb, lol and well known abbreviations are okay as they tend to translate alright after someone has explained them. Flaming is also a common rule that is broken. Please remember that some people are very upset whilst using chat, and although it may be frustrating when you can see what you can see and they can’t, there is no need to be rude to anyone. Just because you have been in that situation and you didn’t react like that doesn’t mean that person can do the same. Here is a link to all the rules to refresh your memory: http://www.recoveryourlife.com/forum...php?do=cfrules
If you break the rules, there will be action taken against you. If there is a mod in the room, you will be given a verbal warning at first. If you continue to break the rules after a chat mod has told you to stop, you will be frozen, and if you carry on again you will be kicked. Sometimes, you will be kicked straight away, but that’s only if you’ve said something very much against the rules. Points (infractions) may or may not be given to you for breaking rules. If you build up a collection of these, you are potentially facing a ban from all of RYL’s services. If you see people breaking rules and there are no mods present, please send in a log to firstname.lastname@example.org
6] How to save a chat log
Unfortunately, rules are sometimes broken in chat by some members, and when you notice this it is important to report it. Rule breaking is anything that goes against these Rules, and include insulting other members, posting triggering information, and tipsharing.
It is firstly important to try and contact a chat moderator who is currently online asking them to come into chat. Chat moderators appear on the forum in green. We don’t bite, so come and find us in another room and send us a whisper with the problem and the name of the user we need to keep an eye on.
However there are times when a moderator is not available... this is where we need your help, by saving a chat log. Chat logs of bad behaviour can be obtained by pressing the button indicated by the arrow:
This log will be everything in main chat and your whispers (not private messages in tabs) from the moment you log in. If you log out, the chat log is unfortunately lost. A save box will appear allowing you to save the chat log somewhere in your documents (Recommended renaming the document to something you will recognise). A simple copy and paste of the section of chat that you are reporting can be pasted either in a PM to a chat moderator or into an email to email@example.com
where the next available chat mod can pick up the email and deal with it accordingly. (Please please highlight the behaviour we need to look at – some logs are really long and it’s nice if we can jump straight to the problem.)
7] Putting someone on ignore/Dealing with trolls.
Sometimes people have disagreements. The person you have an issue with may not be breaking the rules, but you don’t want to see them talking. The best way to deal with this situation is put the person on ignore. You can do this by clicking on their username on the right hand side, and go to the option “block”. This means you can’t see what they say, however, they can see what you say. Please use it when you've had enough of someone, otherwise being snippy and calling people names will land you points.
This ignore function is also handy when trolls turn up. A troll is someone who registers to a forum just to cause upset and interrupt things. Save a chat log of the behaviour so us mods can deal with it, and put them on ignore. The more attention you give a troll, the bigger it will get! If it doesn’t get any attention, it will get bored and leave.
In room 1 and room 2, there is more general chit chat than seriousness. Most things said in these rooms are not to be taken seriously. No one is insulting people who feel down when they say “emo”. Everyone on this website is here for a reason, and some people deal with their troubles by laughing about them. If something bothers you, ignore it, or put the person on ignore. Try and join in with the banter, you never know, you might find something really funny!
However, if you are feeling sad and there are no people in room 4/3, this does not mean that the general rooms are there to support you. Please bare this in mind – the supporters are still available to be contacted are there are many help lines you can call.
9] Technical issues with chat
Sometimes things go wrong with chat. You may get a blue screen or a message saying “Authentication Failed”. To fix the Authentication Failed message, you will need to change your username, as you have characters such as * or ~ in your username, which chat does not allow.
Using different devices with chat causes a few issues. If you’re using an iPad/iPod/iPhone, the browser Puffin is your best bet to make chat run. Apple doesn’t like flash, so you may have issues using the browser provided.
If you are getting a blue screen and nothing else, delete your temporary internet files and cookies, then try again. Make sure Flash is updated to the newest version. If you have any other issues, feel free to ask in Forum and Community Questions and we'll do our best to help.
We hope you have a great experience with chat. It is a useful and wonderful tool. Don’t let a few people put you off of something that could really help you.