Aaaah Chat roulette! What a trap! What a surprise! When (not knowing at all what it was, I wanted to discover while using it) I clicked the start button or whatever it is and suddenly I could see my face projected in a little square on the screen and in an other window appeared two people. They were an old nice retired couple, and the framing of their webcam gave me a glimpse of their house: it was arranged with old fashioned furnitures. My second action was to quickly search for the cross button of my internet page and put an end to this nonsense.
I read Hunter’s article on chat roulette and found it quite interesting. First, I’d like to apologize for not being as open minded as he is, but I cannot help it, chat roulette is just too much for me. I can’t stand it because I feel naked, exposed to unknown people’s voyeurism. Indeed, when you or me go outside in this wild and dangerous world, we are not the same person as the one who looks at himself/herself in the miror every morning. In this solitary examination, you are vulnerable, you do not hide what you want to hide, you look at yourself and think about everything that goes wrong or well. Then when you go outside, the majority of us wears a “mask”, a “costume” that helps us facing the social world and facilitate our interactions with other people. And here is the problem of chat roulette according to me. When I am in front of my computer, I am not naked in the literal sense but I am in my own bubble, I feel vulnerable. So when my face was suddenly displayed on internet, for those people that I don’t know and can’t even have the slightest idea of who they are, I had to leave, I had to shut the window, no matter if they were nice or not. I also didn’t like to be introduced in their privacy. I felt embarassed because it is not the way you come to know people. Generally, there is a gradual progression. At first it is few words, then conversations, then we share activities together and in the end we invite the other in our personal sphere. People go through this process at different speed but chat roulette annihilate all of this and brings us to the last step.
But does it work? In my opinion, all the fuss about web-based relationship is a huge joke. Who would argue that his or her internet friends matter as much as his or her real life friend. And look at the words I just used: ” real life”. I understand that talking with total strangers for a while and share opinions about the place they live in (etc…) can be interesting. But what is going to last after this talk? Are these connections important and will they have an influence on you? I personally do not think so, that is why I refuse to participate in the “meeting new people/make friends/find a girl” aspects of social networks. This derivated way of creating social links lacks what real life brings and that cannot be replaced: sharing life moments with others.
(I’ll be glad to talk more about that with anyone interested, and I’ll bring more content to my arguments.)