When you’re lonely, you begin to search for other means of reaching out to people. Sometimes it works, a lot of times it doesn’t. It can get even harder if you are a little introverted.
One such venue you can turn to are chat apps. They are fairly simple, and since they run on an iPhone or an iPod Touch, they care fairly portable as well. Of course, the portability breaks down if you are indeed using them on an iPod (specifically the iPod Touch), since this device relies on wi-fi to gain access to the internet. No internet, and these chat apps are pretty much useless and isolated.
In pursuit of companionship, or at the very least, just someone to talk to, you can turn to a ton of different chat apps. In my case, I decided to check out The Shore, The City and The Strip. All three are very similar in nature. You create a profile to chat with, which includes nickname, picture, preferences (men or women, and what age). In each, you have the ability to do jobs to earn money, at least, money useable in the game, along with experience. The more experience, the more job and activity options are available to you. You also have the ability to buy property, which pays dividends on a given timetable. To be honest about the property, it seems that only The City shows any real financial benefit to owning property. The Shore has a number of properties, but they are low value, and the time-table for payouts is way too long.
In each game, you also have the ability to buy people. Think of it as a sort of investment, since the people you buy are not beholden to you in any way. You use money and energy to buy people, and receive money back when someone buys them off of you. You also receive money when people buy you. The drawback to all of this is that every once in a while, you actually can end up losing money in spite of a person being bought off of you at a higher price.
Of course, the whole reason to use one of these chat apps is to interact with people. In all three, you can run conversations like any other chat program. The drawback is that you are typing on the small virtual keyboard of the iPod/iPhone. Like texting with one of these devices, you are subject to auto-correction, so you have to type carefully. You can also send gifts to people. Each gift costs either money or points (points can be bought through these apps with real money), and can be either accepted, turned down, or ignored. In The Shore, you cannot access all the available gifts unless you have an ID Card, which is basically a picture of yourself with “The Shore” and your nickname on a piece of paper in the pic.
The first thing you will tend to notice on any of these apps is the large number of “actually” profiles. These are people who will clarify their ages in their “What People Need To Know About You” section. Usually, this clarification comes in the form of “I’m not really 20″ or “I’m really 14.” (each chat app says that it is restricted to people 17 and older) These profiles tend to tie into the greater problem of lying on these apps. Usually, the lie is in the picture, which is often someone famous. Either that, or there are fifteen people out there who happen to look just like Brooklyn Decker.
The other problem with these chat apps is that there tends to be a greater number of people who choose to boost their game income with extras. Usually, these come in the form of offering pictures for money. Some even go so far as to offer pics for actual iTunes gift card codes. And, as near as I can tell, the pursuit of pictures is so rampant that a few people need to state in their profiles that they do not trade pics.
The other problem with these chat apps is the connection. People online show up with a green ”ONLINE” on their profiles. From their, it will display how long a person has been offline to a point. A profile that does not have the time offline or an online message have been offline for quite a while. The problem is that is you actually engage someone in a conversation, they can go offline, and you will not even know until the first offline message (usually 10 minutes) pops up. Which means, you can be holding a conversation with someone for ten minutes and not even know they left.
At the moment, none of these particular chat apps are available on iTunes, and there never has been Android versions. Probably a good thing for both, since none of these apps really seem to be worth the time you put into them.