Chatroulette: Changing the Face of Social Media
Social media provides us with the ability to connect with people instantaneously through the click of a button. We can follow Conan O'Brien's delusional jobless whimpers on Twitter, Digg your favorite cat wearing sunglasses, or friend request your middle school sweetheart over Facebook.
But these networks lack one major thing: the ability to have a real, face-to-face interaction with words. As real as you can get over the Internet anyway.
The newest fad to hit the social media market is sending us back in time to the good ol' days of communication by speaking, and is giving us the ability to hear a tone of voice, notice body language, while also challenging the pale-faced, instant message gurus to respond within five seconds of a question rather than five minutes.
What is this social media marvel you ask? The online game of chance known as Chatroulette.
Combining the idea of spinning the colorful Wheel of Fortune and MTV's dating show "Next," (where you simply yell "NEXT!" to switch partners when your date isn't quite measuring up), Chatroulette connects you to a circle of fellow game players and allows you to either serendipitously interact with a new friend, or digitally ignore a future pen pal by hitting a button labeled "Next."
Although Chatroulette has the potential to immediately connect us to fellow human beings to communicate with, learn about, and experience cultures and view points different from our own, some people may feel a little "creeped out" when using the service… with good reason.
A recent experiment by New York City filmmaker Casey Neistat found that the Chatroulette community comprises 71% boys, 15% girls, and 14% perverts. Neistat also claims 83% of people involved are "young" with 17% "old." Another source indicates the average user is 82% male, with 9% of the images displaying male nudity.Continued on the next page