Difference between Chat and Email

Key Difference: Chat refers to any type of online communication that offers a real-time transmission of text messages from sender to receiver. E-mail, short for electronic mail is a method of exchanging digital messages from one person to another.

Chat and Email are two different methods of online communication that allows users to keep in touch with each other. The concepts of how each works and what it allows users to do can sometimes be confusing for many people that are not tech savvy. Chat refers to any type of online communication that offers a real-time transmission of text messages from sender to receiver. An email is not a real-time transmission but a method of sending electronic mail from one author to a recipient. These two methods of communication are different from each other and should not be used interchangeably.

Online chat refers to any kind of communication that allows real-time transmission of text messages from the sender to the receiver. Chat messages are usually short and the point is to have a conversation or a chat like a person would on the phone or face-to-face. These messengers usually are in the form of a pop up on the screen, with a text box and a message. The message pop ups on the message box and the person can reply by typing in the text box and hitting send.

According to Wikipedia, “online chat may address point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers and voice and video chat, or may be a feature of a web conferencing service.” Online chat is not only limited to text messages but can also include voice conversations and video conferencing. Online chat can also refer to anonymous chatrooms that people join and chat with multiple people at the same time. Chatrooms are virtual online room also called a channel, where people with similar interests can meet and chat with each other.

Chatrooms can be created by any one on any website that allows chatting services. Chats can be specifically related to something, such as games, history, etc. This allows people with similar interests to come together and share ideas and meet each other. Instant messaging is another form of online chatting that allows users that know each other add the other person’s username and then start a real-time conversation with them. Many times instant messaging is linked with e-mail addresses. Popular instant messaging includes AIM, Skype, GTalk, Windows Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.

E-mail, short for electronic mail, is a digital form of an actual mail, now referred to as ‘snail mail’. Email is a method of exchanging digital messages from one person to another. Email requires a recipient and an author; the author would write up an e-mail and send it to the recipient. For email, the person would have to sign up for an email service from many free email providers. During sign up, the person would be required to select a username that would then become their e-mail address. For example, if someone was signing up with Gmail for email services and they selected the username

‘xyz’, then their email address would be xyz(@)gmail(dot)com. The person would then acquire the email address of the person he/she wants to send an email to. They would write up the message and send it to the email address.

According to Wikipedia, “Today's email systems are based on a store-and-forward model. Email servers accept, forward, deliver, and store messages. Neither the users nor their computers are required to be online simultaneously; they need connect only briefly, typically to an email server, for as long as it takes to send or receive messages.” Originally, the term email was used to refer to any type of message that was sent electronically and at a time it was also synonymously used to refer to a fax. There are three parts to an email, the address to where it has to sent, the header and the body. The address requires the email address, while the header is a simple line subject, stating what the email is in regarding to and the body would have the main message.

Email is considered to predate the internet and is considered a crucial tool for inventing the internet. Email can be dated back to the early ARPANET. Standards for encoding email messages were proposed as early as 1973. In addition to just text, an email is also designed to send other messages such as character sets, multi-media attachments, audio and video files, etc. However, one should remember that there is a limit to how much data can be attached to each email.

Email has many pros and cons. It is considered to have made globalization a faster process. It also allows people to keep in touch easily that may not reside on the same continent. Emails can be sent anywhere on the world in a moment’s notice, making the time frame for keeping in touch smaller. However, a con of email has been the spam, where promotional companies send advertisements and junk mail through email systems.

The main difference between Chat and Email is how a conversation is carried. In a chat it is more informal, with the each person is required to be online at the same time for the message to be sent. Chat is also much faster and is more similar to carrying a conversation in real life. In an email, the recipient is not required to be online at the same time as the author. Emails are also more formal and are written similar to a letter.

Image Courtesy: vypress.com, internet-guide.co.uk

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