Since the beginning of time man has sought to communicate and connect with other humans. The telephone brought people from great distances closer through a seemingly magical machination of wires and signals. But of course, the insatiable nature of humans would lead us to more immediate ways of connecting ( when a physical or face-to-face connection is not possoble ). We fantasized about the future when every home would have a video wall or a teleporting machine—the latter still a fantasy nowadays. The internet gave birth to message boards, email, chat rooms and now chatroulette. This site takes making friends to an odd level.
Of course, you will have every pervert in the world showing or playing with bodyparts ( and some of y’all need to put those tiny things away )—it’s inevitable. Then of course there are college boys asking women to show some boobs, more college boys smoking out ( ha ha DOPE…sorry could not help it ) or smart-asses shouting racial slurs—all under the guise of anonymity. Some people leave their screens blank and wait for someone to say ‘hello’. Or my favorite, a half-second video of Jessica Alba followed by a guy wearing a clown outfit.
Like the physical world there are some people who were looking to make an actual ‘connection’. In my two hour global flight ( via Air MacBook ) I met a woman from Ohio, let’s call her Allison, who claimed I looked like her ex-Hatian boyfriend while her gay friend ( as described by her ) made snarky comments ( which they thought I could not hear—HA! ). I also managed to chat with someone named Phillip who left his screen blank but schooled me on some hip hop out of North Carolina, J-Cole. Then there was a couple from Austrailia. I could not hear their names too well ( Josh and Erin? ). I think Josh killed the conversation because his girlfriend kept asking me questions…Yo Josh, I understand man, it’s all good. My last connection was with a guy from France named Christophe ( if that’s his real name ). We talked unemployment, politics and laughed about our experience on the site ( too many dudes whacking off ).
It was like experiencing a real-life Sliver ( minus the kooky murder stuff ) early AOL Chatrooms and a lame attempt at an Abercrombie & Fitch viral ad campaign ( almost every guy was wearing an Abercrombie shirt one guy had it tattooed on his entire rib cage…really??? ). I can see the appeal of this site. It reminds me of flipping a channel until you see something interesting only you get to interact with the content ( unless you get next-ed…is that a word? ) It’s not for the thin skinned though. Getting dissed or skipped by a stranger may make some relive awkward high school moments. The beauty of this site is that you may see or meet someone you would have never crossed paths with otherwise.
I did not see too may people of color there ( although Allison claims to be mixed…I’m just sayin’ ) which was disappointing. That fact coupled with the junior racist coalition calling me nigga’ makes me wonder about how far we have really come. Here we are in 2010 with amazing technological capabilities and we revert to “hey chocolate-face…heeee heeeee heeee”. There is a world, in the palm of our hands, that we can shape and mold into something amazing. We can learn so much from one another, hell maybe even make a friend. I not expecting utopia or anything, I’m just sayin’ you are better than that. And if you are not then fuck you.
I highly recommend the experience. It’s the cheapest way to see the world in sugar packet-sized doses. Thanks to all who had ‘something’ to say. —AG