How funny. I never noticed the chat room function. But then I'm often finding myself catching up to the latest techy applications and hopelessly behind in the race to communicate faster in this sort of format. I joke on Facebook that my social circle is actually more of a triangle....I can't see spending all that time informing people of my every tedious behavior. I'm having breakfast; I'm petting my dog; I have to go out to get my mail at the mailbox...etc etc etc. And the forums seem to provide the more focused discussions I enjoy....interesting topics and debates and free-flowing expressions of opinion. Free speech at its best in my opinion.
I like your mathematical looking symbol up there...is it the proof of God's non-existence?? ha
I may be incorrect, but my understanding is that the chat feature shows everyone that is logged on to the A|N site as a whole. Whether or not these people actually go into chat is another thing. For example, I'm logged in now as I type this, but not in chat, even though chat will show I'm online.