The other day, most folks in my long-time email group all got a Facebook invite request from a former friend/neighbor. Well, eventually we got them. It seemed I was the first. Trust me, on this, I'm not boasting.
Most of us had long lost touch with this person, who will go nameless as he probably Goooogles himself frequently. But it was Morty who has seen him the most recently (I think) and was the last to get the invite. He was miffed - though I think he was just posturing for the cameras.....had there been cameras.
But while anxiously awaiting his invitation, Morty said something interesting (I thought), that he no longer searches out friends, in Facebook or real life. If they come to him - he's fine with it. Though I never thought about it much, I pretty much operate the same way. Maybe most 40 somethings do.
So it was even more interesting to see an article in last Sunday's NYT about some website called Chatroulette. I was going to use it as one of my Sites of the Month and decided to just run with it in this post. I'd say I'd forget about by the time next month rolls around, but in reality, it's just kind of creepy and maybe unworthy.
To break it down, you log on to Chatroulette and there is 'you' and a 'partner'. You can see them via webcam (assuming you have one) and them you (assuming theirs is not disabled). And you either chat via text (ala mIRC from 1993) or via cam.
Or as the Times more accurately states is: it drops you into an unnerving world where you are connected through webcams to a random, fathomless succession of strangers from across the globe. You see them, they see you. You talk to them, they talk to you. Or not.
"Unnerving" doesn't even begin to cover it. While I tried to vet the system for all of you, it wasn't working for me. Literally, it was, figuratively it was not. I'm too old for this shit and the people on the other end were either too young or too weird, sometimes both. And for the most part, too fickle. They would click you off in a nano-second and move on to the next random stranger. And the number of folks there doing it in twos or threes were I think just there to mock - I'm assuming.
Russian Roulette shows more compassion.
If you were of low self-esteem, you'd probably pick up the gun and gladly use it, but not before pulling the trigger on your own monitor screen.
Of course there were the freaks, like the above image, but in reality, most of them didn't have any pants on nor were showing a face. This is chat? And then they'd click you off - not the other way around.
I'm not sure they understand what 'exhibitionism' means. All I can say is, go at your own risk. I can't imagine ever going back there - but that's just me.
Song by: New Order