Chatroulette is the latest Internet buzz where you can randomly videochat with others. It’s simple. You log in http://chatroulette.com/ and you are randomly connected to someone via webcam. (Yes, you must have a webcam on your PC/Mac to play.) You can stay and chat or click “next” and see who (or what) comes up next. Sounds fun, right. But before spin the Chatroulette wheel you should be warned. It can be a freak show! But let’s be honest, we love freak shows!
Because of the explosive growth of Chatroulette (300 users in December 2009 to 10,000 in February 2010) it has got a lot of attention. Here are some of the fun and freaky things reported to be seen while swimming in the Chatroulette pool.
- People dressed as ninjas
- Guy staring in the camera flipping you off
- Girls making out
- A guy appearing to fornicate with a head of lettuce
- Under age girl in clown make-up
- Guy wearing a protective cone like you put on a dog after surgery
- A penis puppet show
- In a Malkovichian moment, people have connected to themselves
- People having sex wearing superhero costumes
Are you starting to get the picture?
Here’s my theory – Chatroulette is the “dark side” response to the properly behaved social networking craze. Chatroulette is the yin to Facebook’s yang (or the other way around, I always get yin and yang confused). It’s a Newtonian law applied to Facebook’s civility and social correctness. It was just matter of time before an “opposite but equal reaction” sprung-up on the Internet where people could totally let their hair down, be inappropriate, an exobitionist, and totally insane.
It has always amazed me how people are so normal on Facebook. Sure there’s an occasional political rant and off-the-wall religions sermon. But you never see a Facebook status like this:
I’ve covered my naked body with peanut butter and I’m chasing a goat wearing a Mardi gras mask around my bedroom.
However, there is a very good chance you will actually see this on Chatroulette. So if you decide to try it, be ready to embrace your inner freak and get ready for inappropriate behavior.
If you really want to understand Chatroulette check out the following post at mikelavear.com: