Have any of you guys been on Chatroulette? Because apparently I'm like the last person on the planet who hadn't heard of it before today. One of my patients could not stop talking about it this morning in the ER, so I decided to give it a whirl when I got off shift.
The idea's pretty simple: instead of videochatting with people you actually know, Chatroulette randomly connects you to total strangers. The weirdest part? If you don't like what you see, you just press Next and somebody else pops up. It's TOTALLY surreal - like a human slot-machine.
So, I press Start and suddenly I'm staring at some really tan dude donning heart-shaped sunglasses and what I'm pretty sure is a Magic Marker mustache. Um, Next? I'm starting to wonder if I've entered into some creepy den of online freaks, and maybe I should stop before I pass the point of no return. Too late!! I can't help myself and click Next anyway. Instantly I'm looking at the very picture of suburban normalcy: a gaggle of teenage girls with braces, giggling hysterically. They're huddled around their webcam, probably in someone's parents' basement. Ahh, middle school, I remember you well. I say "hi," surprised at how weirdly nervous I am. More giggles, then "Shh, shh, she can hear you!" I'm guessing these girls have about as much experience with this whole Chatroulette business as I do, but too bad - NEXT!! Now I'm in a college dorm watching some guys play Beirut. They smile and wave at me, and pretty soon we're debating whether it's actually called "Beirut" or "Beer pong." After I totally school them on East Coast vernacular, I click Next again, this time coming face to face with some weirdo wearing a Nixon mask and eating a powdered donut. Okay, World Wide Web, it's time for you and me to take a little break. Whew!
So, basically this website is utter craziness - and I'm warning you ahead of time that you'll probably have to shield your eyes half the time. But it's also weirdly addicting, and I might just log back in right now for one more minute... or twenty. Thoughts? Funny stories from the Chatroulette frontlines? Do tell.