Where can you talk to a guy pounding beers in Sacramento in his lazyboy, a bored history major at UNC with fine appreciation for pop art, a lot of erect penises, and a med school student from Caracas raving about Hugo Chavez in one evening? You guessed it: Chat Roulette. The first time I heard about it a person told me never to go on it. They explained that it was a site where people with web-cams get paired at random and that I would only see a lot of horny dudes trying to talk to hot chicks. Pretending to be a busy man, I stayed away and thought my friend had done me a favor by steering me away from a site that might take up some more of my time. A few days ago I realized that I was very wrong when I saw this video.
I’m usually not one to post popular youtube videos but I found this one to be important. It’s not only brilliant but I really think that this will begin to change the site in a good way. After seeing Merton, I think people will begin to notice that this medium has a potential for humor and creativity and not just creepy poorly lit attempts at human interaction. For an artist working on their craft, what’s better than an instant personal audience of anybody? How awesome is that!? Granted the site is still a long way off from being G rated and that will probably always be the case judging from the site’s limited site structure. Perhaps that X rated 1 in 10 viewing is all part of the game. Whether you approve or not, some people will act on their horny urges when given the chance. After all, webcams were popularized by porn sites. I’m sure some people are going to hold onto that association when joining the site and look some similar interaction.
The great thing about this video is that there’s a great possibility that the site will be filled with more people trying to share their own talent instead of what’s in their pants. Not to say that that can’t be a talent. What if days from now the site goes from 80% to 70% pervs? What if the rate of people skipping other people went from 95% to 92%? That would definitely mean something! A push towards the creative! A push toward a genuine interest in people wanting to talk and create with one another! What if it translated to people actually realizing that any random person has the ability to be interacted with on a personal level? What if people realized that they had something creative to share with others?
When you’re bored, it’s easy to get caught up in the lower energy of wanting sex all the time. As you can see from real-life interactions, it’s not fun or comfortable talking with someone who is only caught up with getting laid. But what if we took all the energy that we spend thinking about sex and occasionally put it towards our creative capacities? I imagine you might come up with something a lot more entertaining. I would like to say that I don’t think sex is bad. However, when you look at Chat Roulette and get skipped most of the time, you can’t help but wonder if there’s a more entertaining way for this site to function.
With this thought in mind I went on the site with the intention of talking to anyone who was willing to talk. I talked politics with a guy with Venezuela. I asked him what he thought of Hugo Chavez. I won’t quote him but lets say that it wasn’t anything nice. He told me I should go out with his sister in who lives in Brooklyn. How’s that for a personal interaction? A little later I bumped into an awesome mustache dude from UNC who was studying European history. He lifted his laptop up to show me the paintings in his dorm room of Michael Caine, and Joe Strummer. He also showed me his an electric cigarette that is apparently better for you and just as good. So I’m told. We even had a friendly discussion about the bible and abortion. Imagine that! I found it to be a worthwhile experience.
In closing, I think Merton has the answer. More fun! I’ve already got some ideas of things that I might do to help promote some more creative expression on the site. They will probably be shared here in the near future. Until then, check out the site. I’ll warn you like my friend did. There are a lot of people that you’re not going to want to talk to but maybe in a little while that will change.