Welcome to the Chats and Forums directory in our Arts section. There is no denying the powerful influence that the arts have on American society. Whether it is in film, dance, literature, television, or online, the representation of ideas and the poetic expression of thoughts is part of the human experience. The commercialization of the arts as popular culture and a huge economic engine of entertainment have meant more people talking about them. Chats are a great opportunity for individuals in different locations to discuss their thoughts on art. A chat is when two or more people communicate online at the same time (synchronously), usually through instant messaging software. This allows the users to type their messages, review the responses, and look back at a record of the "conversation". This is different from art forums. Typically, conversations in forums do not take place at the same time (asynchronously). Instead, the participants write messages that are sorted by title and topic. Other users can respond to a post or start their own conversation. Chats and forums about the arts each have their own benefits for those who are trying to get information. In a chat, the user can have an instant give-and-take with others who are participating. They can share thoughts and questions about the arts as they occur. Because of the instantaneous nature, though, chats can restrict the thoughtfulness and reflection that one can get in forum posts. Both formats offer great opportunities to discuss opinions and ideas on the arts.