So, you would like to chat on the 'net. There are hundreds of chat sites out there. For everyone. From kids to sports to adult. Lots of people have attached a stigma to "chatting." I have found that any chat site is what you make it. It is up to you to choose where you go and what conversations you join or to which you respond.
Personally, I have made many friends on the net with varied interests. I have had the pleasure of meeting several in the "real world." My life is richer because of them. Just as the friends and associates with whom I work and/or socialize. On the other hand, I have encountered many rude and crass ones on the net as well. I simply ignore them. I make my choices of friends based on the same criteria that I would anywhere else.
One important factor to consider. The internet has provided a new way of communicating with people through out the world. It has been my experience that a lot of people assume a whole new persona when they are on the 'net. The anonominity of the 'net let's them create an image that they want others to see. And it is not always a true image. They hide behind their keyboards and say and do things that they would never do in any real social setting and smugly know that no one can find them. These are the ones who give "chatting" it's bad name in the media.
The internet is a powerful communication tool for the world. What we do with it, is up to us.
It is not my intention to make this a hot-link site. There are other sites on the 'net who are constructed to do just that. The following links will take you to some of those sites and from there you are on your own.
The Paladin site has links to various types of sites without defining their content. It is, though, a quick way to start.
Chris's Internet Link site is one of the better sites. It is sub-divided into types of chat, although his Chat Links is a pure alphabetical listing of over 400 sites of all types. It also contains general Chat Help.
Deanna's Chat Links has nearly 500 sites listed alphabetically.
Missies Home Page contains links for kid's sites.
Web Crawler's Chat Rooms reviews a large group of site chats.
The Internet also contains personal communications programs. Programs that allow you to connect with one or several (depending on the program) individuals that you select. In chat rooms, you join whoever is there. In these programs, you contact the people with which you wish to talk. My favorites, linked below, have voice communication capability.