I tried Chatroulette.com today. I really do not have a very clear-cut idea of how I felt but I will try to explain. First of all, to the unaware, let me tell what Chatroulette is all about. Chatroulette is a website that allows you to have a video chat with a complete stranger. When I say complete stranger, I mean a complete STRANGER. There is no way you will be able to decide whom you can video talk with. The person in front of you can be of any sex, nationality, color, age etc. and you will have absolutely no control on who would be viewing you and whom you would end up viewing. All that you will have will be a ‘NEXT’ button that you can press if you don’t like the person on the screen. Then, you will be connected to some other random stranger. If you don’t like him you can press ‘next’ again and go on doing it till you find the ‘right’ person. Feels strange? Trust me, the experience is even more bizarre.
Come to think of it, we all meet strangers in every walk of our lives. Whenever we may go – office, market, school we find strangers everywhere. Even when we enter into a new chat room, we are surrounded by people we don’t know. So what is so different about Chatroulette?
The difference is that when we confront strangers in our normal lives, most of the time we have a reason to talk to them. We buy fruits, make small talk to cut time, discuss train schedules, ask for directions and do many other things that have a purpose behind them. Moreover, in most of these circumstances we have a choice to select the person we think will be good to us.
Chatroulette is different. Here none of these comfort-zones of purpose or reason are present. It is not like a half empty bus in which you can decide where to sit. It is like a packed bus in which only the seat next to you is empty. The stranger who decides to come and sit there can be a drug addict reeking of alcohol and nicotine, planning to molest you whenever he gets a chance or he can also be a good looking hunk who works in a software company, earns fifty grand a year and feels that you are the most beautiful woman in the world. This heady cocktail of mystery, excitement and voodoo pleasure is what makes Chatroulette so irresistible to millions across the world. Every time you click NEXT your heart skips a beat as you don’t know whom to expect.
Signing into Chatroulette means that you have allowed both angels and demons to stamp into your private space, look at your face, see your body, talk to you, abuse you or do what ever they can until you press NEXT. And trust me, you will see things. Suddenly you will be able to see perverts across the world asking you to rip off your clothes for there sadistic pleasure, people indulging in live sexual acts, innuendoes directed towards your nationality, body, skin color and what not. Your body is the only commodity that you have in Chatroulette. If the person on the other side does not finds it attractive, he will press Next and might also abuse you before doing so. Therefore, for many people it will be an emotionally scarring experience and something that they will regret trying.
For the rest who feel they know how to handle their weaknesses and insecurities and are not scared to confront the most animalistic instincts of human psyche, Chatroulette is worth a try. You will see how in the absence of any fear of law and accountability, supposedly well-educated people loose their humanity in the madness and become savages. You will also find people you may absolutely adore or even fall in love with. You may talk to mothers who would talk lovingly about their children, people who might exchange recipes with you, singers who would want you to listen to their new compositions and even SRK who might log in as he is bored of his day’s schedule. You just don’t know!
All I can say is, if mystery and adventure is your holy grail, take a dip into Chatroulette.